How J.J. Abrams Got One Actor to Return One Last Time

J.J. Abrams was able to convince one actor to return one last time for an emotional scene in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. How did he do it? (Potential Spoilers)

When Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was released to theaters in 1983 Harrison Ford made it no secret that he had wanted George Lucas to kill off Han Solo. For years Ford made every effort to separate himself from the character and Star Wars, but in 2015 Ford returned Star Wars and Han Solo in The Force Awakens.

In May of 2014 I wrote a post as to why I thought Harrison Ford was returning to Star Wars and unfortunately my prediction came to fruition. (Click here to read that post) Jump ahead to 2019 and while watching The Rise of Skywalker in the theater to my surprise Harrison Ford is once again larger then life up on the big screen as Han Solo.

In The Rise of Skywalker, Adam Driver (Kylo Ren / Ben Solo) has a conversation with his father Harrison Ford (Han Solo) who is only a memory in Kylo’s head as Kylo replays the conversation the two had in the Force Awakens, but an altered conversation that sees Kylo throwing his lightsaber into an ocean. So just how did J.J. Abrams get Harrison Ford to return yet again? In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Abrams revealed how he convinced Harrison Ford to return to the Star Wars franchise and The Rise of Skywalker.

“Well, I called him and I said, ‘We want to have a scene in the film between Kylo Ren and his father, would you do it?’ And he said, ‘Okay,’ We had a meeting and talked about what it would be, Harrison, who is one of the great people ever, and incredibly thoughtful about everything that he does, all he ever wants is to understand the utility of the character. ‘What is my role?’ It was about sitting with him and explaining what our intention was. We talked about it for quite a while, I sent him the pages. He got it, and of course, as you can see, he was wonderful.”

Chris Terrio who co-wrote The Rise of Skywalker with Abrams wanted to emphasize what the audience saw was only in Kylo’s head and not some sort of Force ghost.

“At least for J.J. and I, we thought that this finally was Ren, after the death of his mother, being able to really ask for forgiveness, to ask his father for forgiveness, and make some kind of peace. He cannot go back and take back what he has done to his father, but as Han says, ‘Your mother’s gone but what she stood for and what she fought for, that’s not gone,” so he still can make amends in the future.”

Reggie’s Take:
I’m going to be honest when I tell you that Han Solo is one of my favorite characters from Star Wars, always has and always will be. I was absolutely thrilled when Harrison Ford returned for the Force Awakens, but I was also bummed beyond believe when Han died. I felt like I had lost one of my own. Before you ask, yes I loved and enjoyed The Force Awakens.

I’ haven’t let my full thoughts be fully known as to how I feel about The Rise of Skywalker. I did enjoy the movie and the ride J.J. Abrams took me on with The Rise of Skywalker. Will the movie be in my top three of all time Star Wars movies? No. Was I disappointed with it? No. Where there some things I felt could have been done better, of course, but I could say that with just about any movie.

The action and pacing of The Rise of Skywalker was something I did enjoy and of course I about jumped out of my seat when Harrison Ford popped up as Han. It was something I wasn’t expecting but defiantly loved. Just ask my wife; I about gave her a bruise on her arm when I grabbed it so fast and hard in shock and surprise.

Is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a good movie? I will say yes, it is worthy of the name Star Wars. Was it the right story to tell to bring the Skywalker Saga to a conclusion? That’s a harder question to answer, as I’m not sure I could of done any better and I’ve seen every movie in the theater dating back to 1977.

I know this latest trilogy under Disney has been divisive to say the least, especially with certain segments of the Star Wars fan community. For me personally I’ve enjoyed this trilogy more then I did the prequel trilogy. Some might frown at that and that’s fine I’m not asking for you to agree with me.

The one thing that I am certain was the decision to end the Skywalker saga once and for all. As Disney moves forward with newer movies over the next decade I’m glad we will be getting all new stories and characters, ones that won’t be so rooted to our past.

Reggie’s Take Ranking’s

Harrison Ford as Han Solo

Categories: Star Wars

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1 reply

  1. I was happy to see Han Solo back one more time, even if it was essentially a ghost sequence.


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