Harrison Ford apparently didn't care that much about passing on the Star Wars torch in the new film trilogy. Ford, along with co-stars Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher are without question the holy trinity when it comes to Star Wars heroes. Not getting his wish to die in creator George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy, Solo's role in the space opera became more and more pivotal throughout The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which seemingly concluded the story of Han, Luke and Princess Leia in 1983.
But once Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and hired J.J. Abrams to co-write (with Lawrence Kasdan) and direct the first film in a long-awaited new Star Wars trilogy, it became immediately apparent to the powers that be that before a new set of Star Wars stories could be told, the narrative involving the characters of the original trilogy had to be finished. The only way it could work, though, were to get Ford, Hamill and Fisher to commit, and apparently part of Ford's deal was that he would finally get his wish and Han would get killed off. It came, of course, in a climactic scene of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, when Han's estranged son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) plunged his cross-guarded lightsaber through dad's chest.
Now, apparently the whole idea of handing the Star Wars saga over to his heir apparent, the "Pretty Big Deal," Finn (John Boyega), didn't seem to matter all that much. Asked by the New York Times what it felt like "passing the Star Wars baton to Mr. Boyega with his departure from the series," Ford responded, “I don’t know that I thought of it that way at all (passing the baton). I was there to die. And I didn’t really give a rat’s ass who got my sword.”
With over 50 years of acting experience under his belt, anybody the stature of Ford can get away with speaking his mind, simply because he's earned the right to say whatever he wants about anything he wants. After all, this is the guy who not only made Han a cinematic icon, he did the same for Indiana Jones and turned in dozens more memorable portrayals throughout his distinguished career.
Despite his pointed words, it would be a mistake to think Ford was implying that he "didn't give a rat's ass" about Star Wars as a whole. In all likelihood, by getting killed off of Star Wars, he was relieved to finally get a chance to put the role to bed for good, simply because he had moved on from it more than three decades earlier. It's not like he was in The Force Awakens for the paycheck – it became immediately clear that Ford had easily slipped back into his space pirate persona with the utterance of the line, "Chewie ... we're home." He was clearly enjoying what he was doing in the film, and quite simply, it was time for Han – at least in the guise of Ford – to come to an end.
On top of that, it's hard to believe that Ford would completely spurn the Star Wars saga at this point in his life, especially given the fact that the role of Han essentially gave him his career. On top of that, Ford made himself available to Alden Ehrenreich for advice in playing the younger version of him in Solo, something he surely wouldn't have done if he truly despised the role.
Source: New York Times
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019