Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens will pickup in real-time (some 32 years) after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi; in the process, bringing filmgoers up to speed on the lives of such beloved Star Wars character as Han Solo, played again by Harrison Ford. There remains the possibility that Ford will also play Dr. Henry Jones Jr. one more time in Indiana Jones 5, though for now the future of the latter franchise remains up in the air.
Ford, for his part, says he remains interested in making one final Indiana Jones movie, with Steven Spielberg back in the director's chair. He has also spoken a bit about the experience of playing Han Solo again in The Force Awakens, while offering some hints about the role that the character will play in the film's storyline.
EW interviewed Ford about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in which - judging by both the official trailers and rumors about the movie - Han Solos serves as a mentor of sorts to the film's two young protagonists: Jakku scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), who may or may not be Han's daughter depending on what you believe, and the former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega). However, lest you think that Solo telling Rey and Finn that the mythical Force and Jedi are real means he'll be to them what Obi-Wan Kenobi was to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Episode IV: A New Hope, Ford says think again:
"No, there’s not an abandoning of the character. [Han] 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.”
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, who penned the Force Awakens script with director J.J. Abrams, has spoken before about how he drew from his own experiences over the past thirty years, while crafting older versions of characters like Han and Leia (Carrie Fisher). Kasdan has indicated that while these original Star Wars movie trilogy characters will certainly be different in Force Awakens than they were in Return of the Jedi, they will nonetheless have similar personalities and flaws alike - something Ford also says will indeed be true for the older Han Solo:
“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.”
EW has also premiered new Star Wars-related images, showing Ford in costume and on the Force Awakens set with Abrams. Check them out, below:
During his interview with EW, Ford seemed fine with the prospect of another actor playing a younger Han Solo in the 2018 Star Wars Anthology film that is currently in development - having said that, as far as what advice he would give the actor who headlines that movie is concerned, “I would say, 'Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own.'" However, as was mentioned before, it sounds like Ford would rather play Indiana Jones one more time, rather than pass that particular role onto someone else just yet:
"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?”
Indiana Jones franchise producer Frank Marshall has said that the role of Dr. Jones will not be recast (a la the James Bond character), despite rumors to the contrary; so until further notice, if another Indiana Jones film starts moving forward, it will star Ford and not someone else (such as Chris Pratt) in the eponymous role. Nonetheless, Indiana Jones 5 with Ford and Spielberg isn't something that you should expect earlier than 2018 - seeing as Spielberg already has movies scheduled for release in both 2016 (The BFG) and 2017 (Ready Player One) alike.
As for whether or not making Indiana Jones 5 with Spielberg and Ford is a good idea - we leave that for you to debate in the comment section.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
We'll bring you more information on the future of the Indiana Jones franchise as it becomes available.