Warning: the following article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So if, for whatever peculiar reason, you haven’t seen the blockbuster yet then you might not want to read ahead.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a perfect merging of the original sci-fi trilogy with a new and young cast of characters, which included Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn, and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren.
The most emotional moment of The Force Awakens involved the father and son of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Kylo Ren, otherwise known as Ben Solo. For those of you with short memories, and people who were so traumatised that they struck it from their minds, Han Solo was murdered by his own son.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) February 27, 2016
Having previously portrayed Han Solo in Star Wars’ A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi, as well as The Force Awakens, Harrison Ford has clearly developed an affinity with the character of Han Solo, and had some strong feelings about the decision for him to be killed off.
J.J. Abrams admitted as much during a recent interview with Fandango, confessing that Harrison Ford had to think long and hard about the scene after the co-writer and director had informed the actor of the seismic moment.
“He was very thoughtful about it,” J.J. Abrams explained to the ticketing website, “and he got it. He understood why it was so powerful. And I think part of it was because Harrison himself — Han, the character — has so much ahead of him.”
“Has so much life and fight and adventure — that this was the time to do that thing. If we felt like the character was sort of at the end of his days, it wouldn’t have been as powerful. The thing that made it potentially meaningful wasn’t just who does it and how it happened, but that it’s a character that is so vital that is meeting his demise.”
J.J. Abrams didn’t stop there though, as he added further details regarding his discussion with Harrison Ford about the death of the iconic space smuggler.
“I’ll also say that Harrison’s always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that’s what he wanted to do,” the Super 8, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible 3 director continued.
“And that’s why he argued back in the day that Han should die and George [Lucas] didn’t want to do it. And I don’t know what his utility in that regard would’ve been, though I’m sure Harrison would’ve come up with a clear pitch for it. But in this case there was such a utility — it’s about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there’s nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo.”
— MovieWeb (@movieweb) February 27, 2016
As J.J. Abrams briefly mentioned, Harrison Ford previously told George Lucas that he should kill off Han Solo at the end of Return Of The Jedi. However Lucas, the creator of the franchise, refused, insisting that the death of such a beloved character would “have given the whole film a bottom.”
Over 30 years after the release of Return Of The Jedi, Harrison Ford admitted that he was wrong to have requested for Han Solo to have been killed off. Instead, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they found the perfect opportunity to bring the character’s journey to an end.
[Image via Lucasfilm]