Harrison Ford On Returning To Star Wars 30 Years Later

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Let me start by saying that I am not the type of girl who gets star struck. It is exciting, of course, to meet stars, but I am not the type to swoon or get emotional. It’s just not who I am. Having said that, I completely surprised myself when I interviewed Harrison Ford during the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press conference. I got emotional, in fact, I got teary eyed. 

Harrison Ford Interview
Harrison Ford was so genuine and real, and when he answer my question and talked about family’s passing down the legacy of Star Wars to their kids I had to work very hard not to let my emotions show — especially with Harrison Ford looking directly at me! 

Star Wars The Force Awakens Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford On Returning To Han Solo

It has been 30+ years since Harrison Ford last played the role of Han Solo, and I wanted to know what it was like for him to step back into this role. Honored to ask the first question (squee) I asked him just that. His two plus minute answer could not have been more perfect. 

It was familiar. Same thing only different. I was in receipt of a script that I thought was very good. A sort of road map for the character that I thought was worth coming back to with a director whose work I admired and who I knew from a previous film 25 years ago.

Continuing Harrison Ford went on to talk a little about his character and how this new story stays true to the legacy, which was as important for him as it is for all fans. 

It was an all together attractive prospect. If we were trying to do exactly the same thing, if we were trying to pretend, if I died my hair and pretended that 30 years had not gone by, I would be much less comfortable.  But this acknowledges the reality of the passage of time.  It deals with the question of what happened while I was off stage for 30 years. And it deals with it in a really smart way.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Harrison Ford Han Solo
In contrast to the loud and brash Hon Solo, Harrison Ford was soft spoken and humble. This next part, this is where he got me as I thought about watching the movies with my dad, then my husband and now with my daughters who turned into mega fans.

You know, if it were not for the fact that these films have been passed on by parents to their children at an appropriate juncture in their lives and that generations have thus been introduced to me, I probably would have a much different career. So I’m very grateful for the fact that these were family films that been passed on as though there were some nugget of useful information or at least entertainment in them and recognizing their value to the audience gives them significance to me.

At this point in the interview, I could have been done. He answered my question better than I could have hoped. But I wasn’t the only one with a good question, and he had more great answers. 

Hindsight is always 20-20 but we wondered what Harrison Ford thought of the original script when he signed on to the role of Han Solo. Did he have any concept of the legacy that it would become? We all chuckled at his response. 

No. You’d be locked up if you came to that conclusion. But in the context of making that first film, I did recognize both the utility of my character to the telling of the story and, and there might be, you know, somewhere in this meshugas, there might be some really strong elements that people would relate to.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Han Solo
So what does Harrison Ford think it is that people find so appealing about the Star Wars universe?

The breadth of the imagination that’s involved in these films. The strength and worthiness of the mythology that underpins them, the questions that it generates in our minds about our own responsibilities, our own behaviors. All of that plus whiz and bang and flash and music and good stuff.

Besides his answer to my question, my other favorite moment from the Harrison Ford interview was when he talked about his chosen profession.

A great deal of  this, you know, this is service occupation. Story telling is a service occupation much like being a waiter.

You deliver the food. You don’t bang it on the table in front of them. You wait ’til the right moment, you slip it down. You keep your eyes scanning the crowd, the diners. And you are there when you see them beginning to look for you. It’s the same. It’s a public service job. 

So it’s not about me.  I’m not the customer exactly but I love working here.

Star Wars Harrison Ford Interview
Finally, was it hard to get back into the mindset after so many years or was it second nature?

No, you put on those clothes. You turn around and see that guy in the Chewbacca suit. You know, you know what the drill is. I have walked more than a mile in those shoes and it was a familiar path  I was happy to be back. 

I think I speak for every Star Wars fan when I say, we are happy he is back too! 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters December 18. 

For more Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage, don’t miss my post yesterday filled with pictures from the press conference. And stay tuned for more Star Wars next week.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Han Solo Poster

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