Near the end of The Force Awakens, the protagonists are on a rescue mission into the enemy's Starkiller Base when they confront Kylo Ren, the main antagonist.

At this point, Ren is in a fairly vulnerable position, and several of the heros are armed with blaster weapons with a clear shot at him. However, none of them fire; instead

Han confronts him face to face and ultimately gets stabbed by a lightsaber.

It seems to me, at least, that had all of them opened fire on the villain, there was at least a good chance they could have gotten past even his Force powered defenses, and saved a lot of trouble later.

Is there any reason (ignoring the out-of-universe reasons of "it would be boring") why no one took a shot here?


4 Answers 4


Han doesn't shoot him because

Han is his father, and is hoping to save him. Also, Leia specifically asked him to bring him home.

Chewie probably doesn't shoot him because of the aforementioned fact (I think it can be assumed Chewbacca knows about this).

As for the other two, Finn and Rey, they may have a wide open shot, but it is quite a distance away. They run the risk of exposing their position not only to Kylo Ren, but also to the Stormtroopers. Particularly if they miss.

As noted in the comments by @Fatalize, both Finn and Rey have also seen Kylo Ren deflect and/or freeze blaster bolts fired at him. They probably see shooting him as a futile endeavor.

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    I'm not sure I buy the fact they're related makes the fact that Ben's a murderer, etc go away, but fair enough.
    – cat
    Dec 29, 2015 at 15:42
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    Also, Rey has encountered Kylo Ren in Takodana's forest and has seen for herself that he can easily deflect blaster shots from much closer range than in this scene. Therefore she probably has the idea that there's no point for her to attempt to shot him.
    – Fatalize
    Dec 29, 2015 at 15:45
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    Finn on the other hand got to "fight" along Kylo Ren in the assault on Jakku, and has seen first hand that he can even freeze blaster bolts with the force, so he's probably not too inclined to attack him. He's only willing to attack him after Kylo injures Rey in front of him.
    – Fatalize
    Dec 29, 2015 at 15:49
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    “it is quite a distance away. They run the risk of exposing their position not only to Kylo Ren, but also to the Stormtroopers” — plus accidentally hitting Han. Dec 30, 2015 at 14:58
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    @PaulD.Waite Han, shman, that's what I say. Dec 30, 2015 at 15:22

The other answers attesting to Kylo Ren's abilities aside, Finn and Rey can obviously see Han is approaching Kylo sans weapon with the intent to negotiate.

Sniping is dishonorable enough as it is, but to open fire on a party that has willingly ceased their own to engage in diplomacy is a serious breach of ethics and not something anybody with a conscience would do, least of all the good guys.

We can also speculate further and surmise that Han was equally vulnerable in this position. If Rey/Finn/Chewie had attempted to snipe Kylo and failed, Han would absolutely not be walking away from that encounter. As it stood he had a chance to do what he always does and talk his way out of it.

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    "If Rey/Finn/Chewie had attempted to snipe Kylo and failed, Han would absolutely not be walking away from that encounter." Or if they succeeded, most likely. Room was full of stormtroopers and Han was in the most vulnerable position.
    – hobbs
    Dec 29, 2015 at 20:23
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    +1 for an excellent point. I wish I could upvote again for "talk his way out of it," but alas, I can't :)
    – Bob
    Feb 9, 2017 at 13:46

I think a question of this type can only invite opinion, but you must consider that Finn and and Rey are in an increasing state of shock as they see Han approaching this highly dangerous foe with blaster holstered, then the shock of learning that it his son and then, after almost acheiving a breakthrough, they see Han killed before their eyes. I completely understand that they didn't even think to raise their blasters. I would even go so far as to say that what Chewie did was only done in extreme loss and pain and anger and that, if he had been able to step back and think it through, Chewie would not have fired upon him. Ben is, after all, the son of his best friends, Han and Leia.

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    I'm not sure I'd call it shock. Surprise might be a better word. After all, he is the legendary Han Solo, and not only does his reputation precede him, but also Finn and Rey have already personally witnessed Han escape equally precarious situations. This is just Han being Han.
    – Mohair
    Dec 29, 2015 at 18:30
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    Agreeing with @Mohair. When you're a total noob at this, and someone legendary starts to do his thing, a sensible person watches and waits.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:04
  • @Mohair - Which equally precarious situations did Finn and Rey witness Han escape?
    – Kerr Avon
    Dec 30, 2015 at 10:18
  • @KerrAvon They watched him escape the two gangs and the tentacled creatures on the Millennium Falcon, the First Order attack on Takodana, and of course, the approach and crash landing on Starkiller base. Given all his legendary exploits, it seems quite natural to assume that he'll talk his way out of this one, too. Because Han has always been invincible.
    – Mohair
    Dec 30, 2015 at 13:51
  • @Mohair - are you sure? I thought Finn and Rey were in a crawlspace listening to Han very much NOT talking himself out of anything and then Rey pulls a component that lets the Rathtars out accidently saving Han's hide from the gangs who get munched. Rey and Finn are then busy with avoiding a Rathtar until they meet up again at the Falcon.
    – Kerr Avon
    Dec 30, 2015 at 14:04

I believe the series has very well established that shooting a blaster at a Sith who is ready for such an action is likely to be ineffective. For example, Han tried this with Vader in Empire Strikes Back, and Vader simply blocked the shots with his hands, until he got tired of doing so and disarmed Han with a force-pull.

From that perspective the more perplexing part of that scene is

that Chewbacca actually managed to hit Ren with a bowcaster shot.

My only explanations for this are that bowcaster bolts are a bit different and perhaps more powerful (as alluded to a few moments earlier), and that

Ren was quite distracted at that moment, and also perhaps may not have realized there was someone else in there who had a ranged weapon.

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    @Octopus - I'll change it to "dark-side Force user" if that will make you happier. I'm not certain the extra 4 words add that much value, but if the slight inaccuracy bugs people...
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 29, 2015 at 21:19
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    It's a bit like "Harry Potter is not a Horcrux" ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 29, 2015 at 21:20
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    Was Kylo Ren ready for such an action? He was emotionally distraught throughout the entire encounter and appeared distant, like he was lost in thought and not entirely present in the moment. Which makes sense, given what decision he was forcing himself to go through with.
    – user31563
    Dec 29, 2015 at 21:24
  • @Snowman - Its pretty clear he was much more wary at the beginning of the scene than he was at that particular moment.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 29, 2015 at 21:43

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