Han Solo. Indiana Jones. Jack Ryan. Harrison Ford is the face of some of the most iconic characters in some of the biggest franchises in film history. And don’t think we’ve forgotten his turn as a replicant hunter, the President, and a fugitive always one step ahead of the law.
It’s Ford’s starring role in The Fugitive — not his roguish hero in the Star Wars universe — inspiring another interstellar sci-fi series.
Han Solo inspired several reluctant heroes
Ford’s performance as Han Solo was a career-making one, and it also inspired other reluctant heroes to follow.
Chris Evans’ Curtis in Snowpiercer, Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nathan Fillion’s Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly and Serenity all owe at least a small debt to Han Solo. They are lone wolves with questionable morals who ultimately accept the challenge of becoming heroes. Those three are hardly the only fictional characters inspired by Ford’s iconic character, as A/V Club notes, but they are three of the most notable.
As it turns out, a non-sci-fi character of Ford’s has a hand in shaping the Star Trek universe.
Ford inspires part of Star Trek’s final frontier
The animated show Star Trek: Prodigy follows a group of aliens seeking adventure as they cruise around the universe in an old starship. We’re not sure if they’re streaming The Fugitive, but series creators Kevin and Dan Hageman clearly are.
Kevin Hageman revealed that Dr. Richard Kimble, Ford’s character, heavily influenced the direction of the finale of the first half of Season 1.
In the episode titled A Moral Star, Part 2, Admiral Kathryn Janeway returns (and not in hologram form), which then triggers the heroes of Prodigy to go on the run instead of heading to Starfleet, per SyFy.com, which is where the Hagemans drew inspiration from Ford’s Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive.
“They cannot get caught, so then it becomes a question and tension of: How do you escape Starfleet?” Dan Hageman told SyFy.
“And so … we were like: ‘Who would make another great foil? Who would be a great adversary?’ It’s Janeway,” Kevin Hageman said. “She’s hunting them down, but she doesn’t know who is onboard that ship. To her, it’s just this stolen Starfleet vessel.”
The heroes of Prodigy aren’t stealing ambulances and jumping off dams, but their quest has a direct link to one of Ford’s most memorable roles.
Harrison Ford doesn’t love Han Solo nearly as much as fans
Fans and other movie-makers clearly have a deep love for Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo, but the actor is over the role.
He petitioned George Lucas to kill off his character in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, which didn’t happen. Instead, he had to wait nearly 40 years for J.J. Abrams to do the deed in The Force Awakens.
However, Ford, who turned 79 in 2021, doesn’t disdain his other characters from blockbuster franchises. His indifference for Han Solo is balanced by a fondness for Indiana Jones, which is fueled by the character’s depth, intelligence, and growth. It’s why Ford decided to return for the fifth Indiana Jones movie after begrudgingly appearing as Solo in the latest Star Wars trilogy.