It’s been well documented since 1983 how Harrison Ford felt about Star Wars and now we get a small insight what it was like on the set with Ford back as Han Solo.
So what drew Harrison Ford back to play Han Solo again after thirty some years since he last played everyone’s favorite scoundrel? According to Kathleen Kennedy president of Lucasfilm, was the story J.J. Abrams was developing that really sold the actor on the movie.
Kennedy had this to say when speaking to Entertainment Weekly about Ford and his return to the Star Wars universe.
“I think what really got him excited was when he read the first draft, and he saw where we were going and what we were doing. He was immediately on board, and then he sat down and had a great conversation with J.J. and went through, in detail, what we were thinking about doing. And then, you know, Harrison — and I’ve always found this over the years with the Indiana Jones films we’ve all done together — he’s incredibly collaborative when it comes to story and developing his character, and really engaged in the process. And he was every bit that on this film.”
“The minute Harrison and Chewie walked on board the Millennium Falcon — that was incredible. Every single person on the set was stunned. I remember turning around, and there must have been 200 people gathered behind me — completely quiet. I didn’t even know they were there. The whole crew had stopped working, staring at the monitor, because it was so iconic.”
As exciting as that would of been to see in person, it also wasn’t fun for the actor when Ford was injured on the set while filming, but as it turned out it didn’t hurt the film or Ford’s spirit when he did return to resume work on the movie.
Director J.J. Abrams on Ford’s injury and resiliency…
“It was obviously a horrible experience that I wish had never happened for obvious reasons, but the truth is, once we knew that Harrison was going to be okay, we all realized this was this greatest gift to the movie, and I would think that any filmmaker would say, ‘If I could get a break after a month of shooting, for a few weeks, to re-calibrate, I would take it… When it became clear that he was going to be just fine, we realized we didn’t need to change (the script) at all. In fact, there are some places where he’s more active than he was prior to the accident. As you’ll see in the movie, he is running and doing more physical activity in this movie than I think anyone who knows he was injured would expect. Nothing was adjusted or lessened because of that accident. Even for Harrison, who is famously resilient and strong, he blew everyone’s minds.”
As a fan I am happy to hear that Mr. Ford was all in and gave 110% in returning to the character of Han Solo and should make for an exciting and fun time at the movie theater when the film opens in December.
If you read my May 4, 2014 posting on why I think Mr. Ford returned to a character and movie franchise after thirty years you will see why I’m excited and possibly sadden on seeing Harrison Ford as Han Solo in “The Force Awakens”. I hope my conclusions in that article come to be not true, but at the same time I won’t be surprised if that would actually happen.
Either way “The Force Awakens” will only benefit from Harrison Ford returning to an iconic franchise and after such a beating the prequels took from the fans and critics, going back to the roots to rejuvenate this beloved sci-fi franchise could only be a good thing.
Harrison Ford Why I Think he agreed to Return to Star Wars – Posted May 4, 2014
Check out the high-res version of the images (below) that first appeared in Entertainment Weekly magazine. For full beauty just click on an image to enjoy a larger version.