Harrison Ford on Playing Han Solo Again in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: “Another day at the office”
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that it features the returns of many members of the original cast. The most exciting return is that of Harrison Ford, who has been by far the most successful original cast member since the original Star Wars in 1977. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ford reveals his thoughts on returning to playing Han Solo, jokes about working with Star Wars creator George Lucas, and why he doesn’t take Star Wars as seriously as its fans.
When asked if he ever wondered about another actor taking on his Han Solo role, Ford responds, “I never thought about it.” Ford explains that like everyone else he has real life tasks he is more concerned about rather than someone else playing Solo. He says, “I got other things to worry about. I got shoes at the cobbler that need to get picked up. I got to go get a bike fixed. You know, I got a lot of things to think about.”
However, Ford did have advice for whomever does end up in the role: “I would say, ‘Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own.'” Nonetheless, Ford didn’t have advice for other cast members — when Oscar Isaac, who plays X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, asked Ford how to play a space jockey based on Ford’s experience playing Solo and being a real-life pilot, Ford recalls, “I said, ‘Just make s–t up!’ I mean, it’s a movie, man. It’s space. You don’t fly in space the way you do in an atmosphere.” He adds, “I don’t know any more than George [Lucas] knew how to fly the Millennium Falcon when I first got in. ‘How do you fly this, George?’” Imitating Lucas, he continues, “Well, I don’t know, you just flip switches, and, errrr… Ooookay!”
Ford has been famously critical of Lucas’ ability as a writer and director despite Lucas casting Ford as both Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Infamously, Ford once told Lucas about his Star Wars scripts, “You can type this shit, George, but you can’t say it.” When reminded of that quote, Ford elaborates, “Well, you try and say, ‘It takes a few minutes for the navicomputer to calculate the coordinates.’ Move your mouth, George, while you’re typing! It’ll help!”
Still, Ford admits that playing Solo again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its moments. He says, “It could have felt silly, but it didn’t.” But don’t expect Ford to start taking Solo seriously. He continues, “I’m not terribly nostalgic. I’m very practical about what I do and how I do it… another day at the office.”