Harrison Ford is far too old to play Han Solo for the upcoming Star Wars movie about the character’s origin, but he’s been very influential since its conception.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who is producing the “Solo” film, wanted to get Ford’s approval on the movie before it really got going and even sent him the script to give it a look before going forward.
Before production even began, the 75-year-old actor sat down with Alden Ehrenreich, who will now play the role Ford made famous. Although Ehrenreich didn’t reveal much about Ford’s advice, it’s clear that the young actor took it to heart.
“Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone,” Ehrenreich recalled of what Ford told him with Entertainment Weekly. “I gotta stick to my orders from the man himself,” he added.
Kennedy was hopeful about Ford’s influence on the upcoming film’s leading star.
“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 [Lucas] 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 said. “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.”
Ron Howard, who is serving as director for the Han Solo origin film, also benefited from Ford’s insight and took it to heart during production.
“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,” Howard said.
“Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s as quite as smart as he needs to be,” Howard added, speaking about his talks with Ford. “Change that. He’s not really ‘smart.’ That’s not the word he used. Han’s not as on top of it as he needs to be. So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he’s often scrambling. I think Harrison played that beautifully, and Alden and I talked about both of those ideas a lot.”
Safe to say Ford’s fingerprints were all over this one. So it should be just as wild a ride this time around as it’s always been with the captain of the Millennium Falcon.