Han Solo has long been a fan-favorite character from the Star Wars universe even if Harrison Ford – the actor who brought him to life – doesn’t share the same level of obsessive excitement for the rebellious hero. Ford has long been reluctant to embrace the geeky side of the fandoms surrounding both his space smuggler persona and his archaeologically inclined professor Indiana Jones, but late in his career it seems as if he’s come to appreciate their existence a bit more. So while Ford may never write his own Solo/Jones fan-fiction, he’s more than happy to play the characters as long as he’s able to.
In an extensive interview with EW (one of many more to come), Ford shared his thoughts on all things Han Solo, including looking back on his performance in the Lucas films and comparing that take on the character to his role under J.J. Abrams for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While most of this talk centered on Star Wars, Ford does briefly touch on the possibility of donning Indy’s fedora for director Steven Spielberg one more time.
“I was glad that the character was still alive for me to play in this new iteration.”
That’s about as excited as Ford seemed to get when talking about the snarky flyboy. You’d think he’d share a common trait with acclaimed pilot Solo considering his own fondness for flying, but Ford only allowed himself to go this far:
“Oh, I suppose there’s a kind of pride in the mastery of a machine.”
He loosened up a bit more when asked about his take on Solo from the original trilogy:
“He was always the cynical member of the original characters,” Ford says. “There was a callow youth, a beautiful princess, a wise old warrior, and there was a smart-ass. 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.'”
So that’s what Solo was, but according to Ford, Solo hasn’t changed all that much:
“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,” Ford says, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together. “And accounting for his own behavior. There’s a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don’t change.”
It sounds like there will still be plenty of the old Solo in the new movie, which should delight fans al the more. As for what did change over the years that Solo has been living in this universe between films:
“Well, he’s been living with me — out back, in the shack,” he says. “[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.”
Ford also briefly offered his thoughts on the Han Solo spin-off film, a 2018 feature that explores the youthful adventures of the brash pilot:
Has Lucasfilm talked to you about their young Han Solo film slated for 2018?
Ford leans back and smiles. “I think they’re probably talking to the young Han Solo.”
What advice would you give to the actor they cast to help him get inside Solo’s head?
“I would say, ‘Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own.’”
How do you feel about someone else picking up the blaster?
“I never thought about it.”
“Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’d love to do another Indiana Jones. A character that has a history and a potential, kind of a rollicking good movie ride for the audience, Steven Spielberg as a director — what’s not to like?”
I tend to agree, as long as it’s not a repeat of the disastrous Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Either way, the fans would be happy to have him back. As far as fandoms go, Ford is happy to leave that entirely in the hands of the people who line up at conventions and movie theaters to see their fictional heroes come to life:
“It’s not mine, it’s theirs,” he says. “I just work here. Knock yourself out,” he says. “Have fun with it.”
Be sure to check out the full interview with Ford, especially if you want to hear more about the 73-year-old veteran actor’s love for planes and a crazy anecdote about his accident on set.
And for more on Star Wars, take a look at some of our recent coverage below:
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ EW Covers Feature Harrison Ford, and More
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- Han Solo Spinoff May Be Lawrence Kasdan’s Final ‘Star Wars’ Movie
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Preview to Air This Thursday on ABC
- ‘Star Wars’ Superfan Daniel Fleetwood Dies Days After Early ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Screening
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Banners: Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren Strike a Pose