Entertainment Weekly‘s Anthony Breznican continues his always fantastic coverage with an inside look on the role that Harrison Ford played in the development of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Given Ford’s famously grumpy demeanor and his somewhat distant relationship with the Star Wars franchise, I wondered if Ford had any level of involvement in Solo. According to Breznican, it turns out that he was a vital consultant to both the new Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, and director Ron Howard.
As Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy explains, Ford was able to provide Ehrenreich with insight into Han Solo passed on from the maker himself, George Lucas:
“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed,” Kennedy says. “He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”
It’s nice to think that at least some element of Lucas’ original vision for the character of Han Solo will be reflected in the new film. That, combined with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan’s writing, will hopefully contribute to a characterization of the beloved nerf herder that feels both familiar and authentic.
Perhaps even more importantly, Ford seems to have been an important ally following the change in directors from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to Ron Howard:
“Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character,” Howard says. “He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting.”
In addition, Howard recounts that Ford described Han Solo as a character who always wants to seem as if he’s in control, but is often actually figuring things out on the fly. As I read those descriptions, I can’t help but think of Han on the Death Star in A New Hope chasing stormtroopers down the corridor with no real plan.
Be sure to head over to Entertainment Weekly and read Breznican’s great article in full. There’s undoubtedly much more to come and Breznican teased details on Lando tomorrow!