Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly pleasantly surprised Star Wars fans with their Fall Movie Preview featuring all things Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today, that coverage continues with the story of Harrison Ford’s return to the franchise, as Han Solo. EW talked to Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, who describes what it was like to see Han and Chewie on board the Millennium Falcon, for the first time in over 30 years.
"“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.”"
I can only imagine how the near reverence for such Star Wars legends, returning to their iconic ship, would have been for everyone in attendance. Just seeing Han and Chewie in the second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens, cleverly placed by J.J. Abrams at the very end, actually brought tears to my eyes.
“Chewie, we’re home.”
Legendary screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan, who worked on the Original Trilogy — and who wrote The Force Awakens with J.J. Abrams — also took note of the hushed reverence for the duo’s return to their fabled starship.
"“It was sort of surreal for everybody, and it wasn’t just Han, it wasn’t just Harrison. It was seeing all this stuff. The Millennium Falcon has been a big part of my life, from Empire to Jedi to Force Awakens — and now I’ve written a movie about the young Han. So the Falcon has enormous resonance for me. And I don’t know if you can imagine what it would be like to watch things being shot on that set with those people…it’s pretty cool!”"
It’s no secret that Harrison Ford has, over the years, become quite the curmudgeon regarding his role as Han Solo. Ford infamously wanted Han to die at the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, so to have him return to film Episode VII, even if it is just for one film (rumors that Han will die in The Force Awakens are quite prevalent across Star Wars message boards and fan sites), is a huge deal for not only Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams, but for all of Star Wars fandom, as well.
There’s also the reunion of Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Kathleen Kennedy recalls a dinner with all the cast.
"“I had no idea how close Peter and Harrison were. And when Harrison came into the room and Peter was sitting down, he just went over and gave him the biggest hug, and you could just see that there had been this incredible relationship between these two.”"
The article goes on to talk about how Ford returned to the set after his injury — from when a large piece of the Millennium Falcon set fell and broke his leg — and how his demeanor was lighthearted and he brought fun to the set…which is the opposite of his usual grumpy persona. You can read the entirety of Entertainment Weekly‘s article, where you’ll find out more about Harrison Ford’s return to Star Wars.