Did Harrison Ford Really Hate Being Han Solo In Star Wars?

To get right to the point, no, Harrison Ford does not hate Han Solo. It may not be his favorite role in the world, and it’s probably fair to say he’s more than a little tired of talking about Star Wars after all these years. 

At the same time, the best evidence that Ford doesn’t hate Han Solo is the new movie, The Rise of Skywalker — so if you haven’t seen that movie, consider this your spoiler warning

How did Harrison Ford get Han Solo?

Harrison Ford on the red carpet
Harrison Ford | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Most people know that Star Wars was not Harrison Ford’s first movie. That distinction goes to a 1966 film called Dead Heat on a Merry Go Round that is only remembered because it’s Harrison Ford’s first movie. He has a small speaking part as a bellhop. 

Star Wars wasn’t even Ford’s first movie for George Lucas. That was 1973’s American Graffiti, a look back at the year 1962 that paid tribute to Lucas’ love of all things cars and racing.

In that movie, Ford played the arrogant Bob Falfa, who challenges one of the protagonists to a drag race. American Graffiti was a huge surprise hit, which gave Lucas license to make a little space opera he had been thinking about. 

However, the role in American Graffiti did not lead directly to Star Wars. According to the book  How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, casting director Fred Roos knew that Ford was a carpenter, so Roos hired him to install a door at the studio.

“Harrison had done a lot of carpentry for me. He needed money, he had kids, he wasn’t a big movie star yet. The day he was doing it, George happened to be there. It was serendipitous,” Roos said.  

Ford wanted Han Solo to die in ‘Return of the Jedi’

Flash forward to the early 80s, when Lucas was making Return of the Jedi. Han had already made a major sacrifice by being frozen in carbonite during The Empire Strikes Back, and Ford thought there was really nowhere else for his character to go, so Ford thought Han should die in the last film of the original trilogy. 

“I did think the character itself was relatively thin. I would have liked to see some complication for the character; the only complication I didn’t get was to die at the end of the third one. I thought that would have given the whole film a bottom, but I couldn’t talk George into it,” Ford told Starpulse.

The script did leave in a reference to Han saying he had a strange feeling he wouldn’t see the Millennium Falcon again, but that was as far as anything foreboding went.

Flash forward again to 2015, and the world is stunned when Han really does die at the hands of his own son in The Force Awakens. Many people thought that would be the last they would see of Han. They thought wrong. And that doesn’t mean Solo: A Star Wars Story

Why Harrison Ford does not hate Han Solo

On Reddit, one fan theorized that the very idea that Ford wanted Han to die was proof that Ford really cared about the character. The fan wrote:

“He didn’t want the character to have a lame, pointless ending. And so he pitched to George Lucas repeatedly that Han should die heroically during Return of the Jedi. He wanted (to progress from) the guy who was out only for himself, to someone who would die to save his friends and the rebellion. It’s not a sign of him hating Han, it’s the opposite.”

Ford finally got his wish, so many fans were surprised when Han made a very brief appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, essentially coming to his son in a vision and telling him he forgave him for turning away from the family.

If Ford truly hated the character, it’s hard to imagine him returning one last time, even if it was for only a day’s work. 

Abrams told Vanity Fair, “Well, I called him and I said, ‘We want to have a scene in the film between Kylo Ren and his father, would you do it?’ And he said, ‘Okay.'”