At some point, old NPCs die. If your campaign runs long enough, the heroes will have made many friends and contacts over the course of their adventures. A common theme is to bring them back every now and then to interact with the heroes again. This provides continuity and nostalgia - good things.
Another approach is to have one of these old NPCs die. If it happens off-screen (so to speak), the heroes can learn about it later, either through news/gossip channels or perhaps when they try to re-establish contact for some reason, maybe to ask for information or cash in an old favour. Imagine if an old noble has told them to come calling any time they need assistance, because they helped her in a past adventure. But when they go to look her up again, they discover she has died. (It could feel like a cheap way of reneging on the favour, so make sure there's something deeper going on, and the heroes get something positive out of the events, though perhaps in a roundabout fashion.)
Alternatively, you could just have news that a beloved NPC has passed away, and maybe the heroes are saddened and might want to travel to attend a funeral. It can be a good excuse to make them go somewhere that you want them to be to launch further adventures.
Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)
Mon Mothma's gone? I guess she did look like she was about as old as Han does now, so that makes sense. No chance for the valley girl accent then, unless we meet someone who's meant to be a kid of hers. Lacking any other obvious character traits, that would be a good give-away to the players for an intended relation for a minor NPC. Hmmm. Could that mean Doctor Kalonia is related to Count Dookû in-comic then?
The NPC chatter feels like the GM giving the players a push to take immediate action. I don't think the movie could be bad enough to have Rey somehow communicate that she's escaped and needs a lift OR that the Resistance could somehow detect the escape of a single person on something that looked like 12 times the volume of the already extremely large original Death Star. The escape seems more like something that would be discovered by the Resistance during their attack, hopefully as a good surprise.
And at least Jim is directing both of his characters in mostly the same direction this time. At least Allan/Poe's attack force mission part can wait until the shield is down. Or maybe Zeppo will end up dying before that can happen, which would mean that switching back to Allan/Poe's perspective will feel more natural. There could even be a good chance for the brainwashing session to get a callback as well.
Admiral Ackbar: Contrapositively, Chewbacca was saying that was an equivocal endorsement.
Leia: This sounds like a dangerous plan.
Nien Nunb: If only Mon Mothma were here. <sigh>
Snap Wexley: Can we get back to the agenda? Rey still needs rescuing.
Admiral Statura: Actually, Wedge reports an increase in Black Alpha chatter in the Endor system. He’s partly decrypted it and it seems Rey has escaped captivity. They’re hunting for her on the Peace Moon.
Admiral Ackbar: That’ll have their jockstraps in a knot!
Zeppo: That settles it. We go in, rescue Rey, take down the shield...
Allan: And I lead an attack force and we blow up the Moon!
Zeppo: Leave some of the heroics to me, kid.
Allan: Hey, there’s plenty to go around, old man!
GM: Now I remember why I didn’t want Jim playing two characters in one scene.