Harrison Ford Explains Why He Returned For Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker


Like Alexander Hamilton by way of Lin Manuel-Miranda, Han Solo just couldn’t seem to die in the Original Trilogy, despite actor Harrison Ford’s insistence that the character should have been killed off in Return of the Jedi in order to give Episode IV some emotional gravity to offset those toyetic Ewoks. “Three is enough for me,” he said at the time. “I was glad to see that costume for the last time.”

Though he was reluctant to sign on for any future Star Wars sequels, Ford was ultimately lured back to that galaxy far, far after it was annexed by the House of Mouse, claiming that he was enticed by “a really good script, the opportunity to work with J.J. [Abrams], who I’ve admired, and it just seemed like a good idea.” That “good idea” involved being stabbed to death aboard the First Order’s Starkiller Base by his and Princess Leia’s own estranged son, Sith practitioner and Vader worshipper Kylo Ren, née Ben Solo.

So, it would seem, Ford finally fulfilled his wish of filming Han Solo’s on-screen death, albeit three decades later. The scene arguably did give a degree of emotional weight to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which took criticism for largely retreading the same narrative as the retroactively subtitled A New Hope, so much so that, at one point, Han himself lampshades the fact that Starkiller Base is basically a bigger, deadlier Death Star. Ben might even have been metaphorically addressing exactly that in Rian Johnson’s divisive follow-up The Last Jedi when he told Rey: “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.”

Of course, in Star Wars, not even death is the end, as Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Master Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker can tell you from beyond their fictional and even real graves. And so, when Ben needs the last push to finally make his turn in The Rise of Skywalker, Han Solo reappears one final time, though whether he’s meant to be a Force ghost or a hallucination is up to the viewer to decide.

Apparently, though, Ford was markedly less keen on this final cameo, referring to it specifically as the director’s suggestion. “J.J. said, ‘This is a good idea’,” he told Jimmy Kimmel on the comedian’s late-night talk show, continuing: “‘I, J.J., have decided that this is a good idea, and I would like you to do it.'” And so, trusting in the director, Ford obliged, again affording audiences one of the most emotionally significant moments in a film once more criticized for its reliance on nostalgia.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be available on Digital HD on March 31st, followed by its release on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD on April 14th.

Source: EpicStream