Performer Alden Ehrenreich had perhaps more pressure than any other actor in the Star Wars franchise save for Hayden Christiansen, as he had to fill the shoes not only of an iconic character like Han Solo, but lead an entire movie while doing so. By most accounts, Ehrenreich succeeds in the prequel spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story, and while Harrison Ford wasn’t involved in the making of the film at all, he did go out of his way to surprise Ehrenreich at the film’s press junket over the weekend, even seeming to give Ehrenreich’s performance his seal of approval.
During an interview with ET, Solo director Ron Howard walked into the room behind Ehrenreich with Ford in tow, and the reaction from Ehrenreich is priceless. The two actors met after Ehrenreich landed the job, with Ford telling Ehrenreich to say to the press that Ford told him, “everything he needs to know,” and that he “can’t tell anyone.” That was reportedly the extent of their correspondence before filming began, although Howard did call Ford up when he took over Solo from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to get a bit of advice from the OG Han Solo.
But this surprise goes a long way toward showing Ford’s affection for a franchise he has somewhat shunned in the years since Return of the Jedi, or at the very least his support for a young actor filling his shoes. The official Star Wars Twitter account also shared some photographic snaps that reveal Ford and Ehrenreich having a private conversation away from the cameras, which seems to suggest this was much more than simply Ford making a “moment” for the cameras—he looks genuinely interested in chatting with Ehrenreich.
This is very, very sweet, and something Ford absolutely did not have to do. Check out the surprise below.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 13, 2018