In a recent online interview director J.J. Abrams talked about one of the biggest decisions made while writing what would become the biggest box office movie in U.S. history.
In case your one of the very few who hasn’t seen “The Force Awakens” yet, Kylo Ren or Ben Solo the son of Han and Leia ignited his lightsaber into his father, Han, thus ending the life of a major character from the original Star Wars trilogy.
Not sense Darth Vader told Luke that he was his father has there been a bigger emotional impact in the Star Wars universe. Even though most may not have seen the death of Han Solo coming when they went to the theater it defiantly did not hurt the box office with over $2 billion dollars earned to date.
So how does someone, even the likes of director J.J. Abrams make such a big a decision? During an interview with Fandango questions about Star Wars: The Force Awakens came up. Abrams touched on what some fans might see as a controversial choice and the reaction from Harrison Ford about the fate of everyone’s favorite scoundrel.
“He was very thoughtful about it, and he got it. He understood why it was so powerful. And I think part of it was because Harrison himself — Han, the character— has so much ahead of him. Has so much life and fight and adventure—that this was the time to do that thing. If we felt like the character was sort of at the end of his days, it wouldn’t have been as powerful. The thing that made it potentially meaningful wasn’t just who does it and how it happened, but that it’s a character that is so vital that is meeting his demise.”
J.J. Abrams elaborated further on the decision to kill off one of the most beloved characters.
“I’ll also say that Harrison’s always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that’s what he wanted to do. And that’s why he argued back in the day that Han should die and George [Lucas] didn’t want to do it. And I don’t know what his utility in that regard would’ve been, though I’m sure Harrison would’ve come up with a clever pitch for it. But in this case there was such a clear utility— it’s about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there’s nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo.”
I’ll be honest that the decision to kill off “Han Solo” really didn’t surprise me. I wrote a post here on Reggie’s Take back in May of 2014 that the only reason why Harrison Ford was returning to Star Wars was because they were going to kill off Han.
As interesting as Abrams decisions and thoughts behind killing of Solo were to read my bigger question to the director and even Harrison Ford himself would be, would Harrison Ford have signed on to do the movie, “The Force Awakens” if the script was not calling for “Han Solo’s” death?
Maybe Mr. Ford still would have, maybe not, but in the end Mr. Ford did sign on and of course Han Solo did die. I’m of the opinion that the death of Han Solo will be considered one of the top five moments in Star Wars history.
“The Force Awakens” was in a way a movie about two things, the search for Luke Skywalker and the last great adventure story of one of the coolest characters, other then Vader, that the Star Wars universe gave us, Han Solo’s last ride. Yes I know that Disney and Lucasfilm plan on doing a Han Solo movie and even though I will still go see it, it won’t be the same unless Harrison Ford is the actor behind the role.