Until now, Harrison Ford has never shared his true feelings about Han Solo, or what it was like revisiting the character for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Most thought he despised the ol' space pirate, as the actor has never spoken very highly of him in the press. But in a new interview with EW, it's suggested that's because Harrison Ford and Han Solo might be a little too much alike. In this informative chat, Ford offers new insight into the former smuggler, and promises that this is not a new take on the mythos. Solo is still very much the charming rogue we've come to know and love over these past three decades.
Han Solo is arguably the most popular human character in all of Star Wars lore. He's a scoundrel, he's scruffy, but above all, he's, dare we say, lovable? And it came as a shock back in 1983 when Harrison Ford revealed that he desperately wanted to kill off the character in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Back then, he was glad to see the costume go back into storage. But the years have softened him some. And now, he's happy that George Lucas didn't follow through with Solo's demise.
"I was glad that the character was still alive for me to play in this new iteration. He was always the cynical member of the original characters. While we were invited to engage on the questions of some pretty arcane mysteries - the Force and the mythology that surrounds it - he was the guy who said, 'What? Huh? Come on.' There was a callow youth, a beautiful princess, a wise old warrior, and there was a smart-ass."
Harrison Ford has never been too removed from the Han Solo persona. And as he tells it, the character has been 'living with me - out back, in the shack.' The latest trailer seems to tease that Han Solo is more open to the Jedi and all the supernatural elements that come with it. When we first met him in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, he was much more the skeptic. But Harrison Ford doesn't want fans coming into the new movie to get the wrong idea. He is not taking the place of Old Ben to wax philosophically about 'hokey religions' and 'ancient weapons'.
"No, there's not an abandoning of the character. He does not aspire to the position of Obi-'Ben' Kenobi, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth. We spend a lot more time [in the movie] on his failure to master basic skills, like accounting. And accounting for his own behavior. There's a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don't change. [Thirty-two] years is going to put some rings on the tree, some experience in the bank. You might make an elaborate conjecture [about who Solo is now], but I think we answer that question in the film. It's best left answered there."
If you were wondering whether or not Harrison Ford and his family gathered around the TV to watch the third and final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer like the rest of America, yes, he did. But he only acknowledges that begrudgingly. Like he doesn't want anyone to know that he might enjoy all of this just a little bit. Here's how he explains it.
"I was trying to watch the damn football game! We were in the middle of preparing dinner and doing homework, and...Just watching it over our shoulder."
While Harrison Ford is a little more open about talking about Han Solo and his return in The Force Awakens, he doesn't really want to discuss the new Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie. He reiterates what we've heard before. Lucasfilm is 'probably talking to the young Han Solo' and not him about the sci-fi spinoff. And he doesn't have much advice to give.
"I would say, 'Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own. I never thought about [handing over the role]. I got other things to worry about. I got shoes at the cobbler that need to get picked up. I got to go get a bike fixed. You know, I got a lot of things to think about."
Returning to the set for the first time, it has been reported that the entire crew fell to a hush when Harrison Ford arrived in his Han Solo costume. But the actor is the last person to ever geek out over such a thing. About the entire experience, he had this to say.
"It could have felt silly, but it didn't. I'm not terribly nostalgic. I'm very practical about what I do and how I do it...Another day at the office."
The trailers have been pretty generous in giving us footage of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, though we've yet to see his co-star Mark Hamill as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. In fact, Han Solo not only graces the cover of the new EW, but we also get two new photos, which you can check out here. A new Star Wars: The Force Awakens preview is debuting on ABC this Thursday night. Perhaps we'll see more of the iconic smuggler turned resistance pilot when that airs tomorrow.