A week after LucasFilm was sold to Disney for $4.05 billion comes word that Harrison Ford is open to the idea of returning to the role of Han Solo.
In fact, according to EW, a source close to the franchise revealed that Harrison Ford and original trilogy actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are all interested in returning to the Star Wars franchise.
The web has been ablaze with speculation about the future of the Star Wars franchise after it was confirmed by George Lucas and new LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy that Star Wars Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Episode IX would be turned into live action films.
Rumor has it that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct the first story of the new Star Wars movies that may pick up 20 years after the original trilogy and give fans closure on the fall of the Empire.
To say the least, it’s an exciting time for Star Wars fans!
The sale of LucasFilm to Disney has certainly injected new momentum into a franchise in which the creative possibilities are endless. And with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher all showing early interest in returning to the franchise that made them household names, the inclusion of the original trilogy stars feels like the perfect way to pass on the Imperial torch.
But it’s an interesting turn of events for Harrison Ford, who has consistently maintained throughout the years that a return to Han Solo wouldn’t be in his future.
Although Star Wars fans everywhere are rejoicing in their seats, the news about Ford being open to Han Solo doesn’t quite make a lot of sense. Over the years, Ford hasn’t exactly hidden his disdain for the franchise and the character of Han Solo.
In a 2010 interview with Pete Travers for Popcorn on ABC News, Ford was unsure about how Han Solo would fit into future Star Wars storylines.
“I don’t think there’s a way to weave him back into the story, ” Ford told Travers. “As a character, he was not so interesting to me.”
Ford even went so far as to say that Han Solo should have been killed off.
“I thought he should have died in the last one,” Ford continued, “just to give it some bottom.”
So, if all of this is true, why the sudden change of heart?
Well, according to the original EW report, it appears that Harrison Ford is open to the idea of Star Wars Episode VII now that George Lucas has turned over LucasFilm reigns to Kathleen Kennedy. Was it a reboot of creative control that possibly changed Ford’s mind about returning to Star Wars? It sure looks like it when you read between the lines.
But it may run deeper for Ford on an emotional level given how massive Star Wars was in 1977. It was the film in which Harrison Ford, the person, became Harrison Ford, the super-star. And with super-stardom came great responsibility, obligation, a loss of privacy, and perhaps too much attention than one may have wanted.
It’s no secret that Harrison Ford tries to keep his private life intact and separate from the business of filmmaking. But it was Star Wars in 1977, and the subsequent sequels, that changed Ford from an observer into the observed, as he himself once said.
During a candid and in-depth interview in 2000 with James Lipton for season six of Inside the Actors Studio, Harrison Ford talked about the huge fame and massive impact that Star Wars had on his private life.
“It took a long time for me to figure out how to deal with it emotionally,” Ford admitted to Lipton, “the loss of privacy, the attention. It took me years to figure out how to come to terms with it.”
If Ford has always associated the Star Wars franchise with a negative period in his life, can you really blame the guy for the ill feelings? Maybe it was all just too much attention about one subject? Who really knows for sure?
Following Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford went on to star as Indiana Jones, with George Lucas serving as writer and executive producer on all of the subsequent Indiana Jones movies. It was the role that propelled Ford into super, SUPER-stardom after Han Solo.
So, how did Ford see Indy differently than Han Solo?
In the same interview with Lipton, Ford explained the differences between both characters.
“[Indy] had the opportunity to for greater complexity,” Ford stated. “He’s a lot smarter than Han Solo. Just the breadth of the character is so much greater.”
That may explain why Ford was more open over the years to the possibility of returning to Indiana Jones rather than Han Solo. After all, Harrison Ford returned to Indiana Jones for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull after a two-decade long absence from the franchise.
Interestingly, after nearly thirty years removed from Han Solo, it appears that Ford may be following in Indy’s footsteps to where he started.
At 70-years of age, a return to Han Solo could be the perfect full-circle role to call it a career. It’s not like Harrison Ford has anything to prove as an actor. He’s had a dream career.
However, after years of shooting down future Star Wars possibilities and admitting his dislike for Han Solo, does it make sense for Harrison Ford to return? I mean, it is a valid question. Will all be forgotten if we see Han Solo one more time on the big screen? Should all be forgotten if Ford decides to play Han Solo?
What do you guys think?