Harrison Ford is back to reprise his role as original Star Wars character Han Solo. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams shared what it was like to have the veteran actor on set.
Let’s face it — we can’t get enough of Harrison Ford as Han Solo. He is only one of the most famous smugglers of all time and does so flying around the galaxy far, far away in “that thing” we know as the Millennium Falcon.
In the latest Entertainment Weekly, writer Anthony Breznican compiles a series of fascinating details regarding the Star Wars franchise and, more importantly, what it was like to see Solo walk onto the Falcon for the first time.
From Harrison Ford’s exciting return to play the role that propelled his career into stardom, no pun intended, to what happened when the hydraulic door fell on the actor’s leg while filming a scene, this new article gives us an up close and personal feel for what happened on the Force Awakens set. The Lucasfilm president talked about the first day Han Solo was on the Falcon and how not much work was done because of its significance.
“The minute Harrison and Chewie walked on board the Millennium Falcon – that was incredible. Every single person on the set was stunned. I remember turning around, and there must have been 200 people gathered behind me – completely quiet. I didn’t even know they were there. The whole crew had stopped working, staring at the monitor, because it was so iconic.”
If that doesn’t give you chills, maybe the fact that it was a sort of homecoming for Harrison Ford as well will. Kennedy says that the veteran actor was also “finding that place for himself again, to return to something that had been so much a part of his identity and acting career.”
Everyone on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set was spellbound, realizing, “Oh my God, he’s back!” the executive shares. After the initial excitement died down, Harrison Ford got to work, but then he suffered the accident on the Millennium Falcon.
Abrams recently revealed he rushed to help Harrison Ford, and as he attempted to lift the door off his leg, he ruptured a vertebra. Ford ended up needing surgery, and Abrams had to wear a back brace for a time, but luckily the Star Wars production only suffered a brief interruption, which actually allowed Abrams and scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan to polish things a bit.
The director thought that with the injury Harrison Ford suffered and his time recovering, they would have to delay things for an extended period. However, the break was relatively short. Abrams also thought he would have to accommodate Ford — who has a tough guy reputation — and his scenes if he wasn’t up to performing them, but that wasn’t necessary at all.
“It was obviously a horrible experience that I wish had never happened for obvious reasons. But the truth is, once we knew that Harrison was going to be okay, we all realized this was this greatest gift to the movie, and I would think that any filmmaker would say, ‘If I could get a break after a month of shooting, for a few weeks, to recalibrate, I would take it.’
“…there are some places where he’s more active than he was prior to the accident. As you’ll see in the movie, he is running and doing more physical activity in this movie than I think anyone who knows he was injured would expect.”
Kennedy says that despite Harrison Ford’s earlier comments about Han Solo, he was very comfortable coming back to Star Wars: The Force Awakens once he read the first script draft and after he had a long discussion with Abrams. The Lucasfilm president says Ford has had a lot of input about how to develop his aging character.
Are you excited to see Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
[Image via Lucasfilm]