Did Harrison Ford really like Solo: A Star Wars Story? The actor has had a love/hate relationship with the Star Wars franchise for decades now. Long-time fans were shocked to learn that Ford had agreed to appear in The Force Awakens, and then again in The Rise of Skywalker. He spoke about the franchise and the new actors positively at the time, but when asked if he felt he was there to pass the baton, he said, "I don't know that I thought of it that way at all. I was there to die. And I didn't really give a rat's ass who got my sword."
Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi, so being able to finally kill the character in 2015 probably felt long overdue. How did he feel about Solo when it was released in theaters? "Harrison Ford liked Solo and very much and was supportive when he saw it. He was so gracious and complimentary to Alden [Ehrenreich]," says Ron Howard. Ford publicly praised Ehrenreich many times leading up to the release of Solo, and even met with the young actor to give him some advice.
As for how he felt about Solo in private, it appears that Harrison Ford really did enjoy the movie. "He said some things publicly, but privately, it was really great to see him put his hand on Alden's shoulder and say, 'great job kid,'" says Ron Howard. "Alden worked so hard and it was a very high-risk situation for him and he was a cool customer and was really a pleasure to work with, as was that entire cast, they are just a great bunch." In addition to speaking to Alden Ehrenreich, Ford also spoke to Howard when he signed on to direct the movie.
Ron Howard was not the first choice to direct Solo. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were originally brought on board to direct the movie, but they did not end up seeing eye to eye with Lucasfilm and Disney, so they called up Howard. Before taking on the gig, the director contacted Harrison Ford for some advice. "Harrison's a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character," Howard says. "He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting."
Solo was not a hit at the box office upon its release and it has been widely reported that its lackluster performance derailed the other spin-off movies that were on deck at the time. The standalone Han Solo movie hit theaters less than six months after The Last Jedi, which was divisive, to put it lightly. Now, the movie is celebrated by Star Wars fans and many are hoping that a sequel comes down the line at some point. The interview with Ron Howard was originally conducted by the Lights Camera Barstool Podcast.