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Abrams, Kennedy and Kasdan discuss Harrison Ford's return as Han Solo

08.13.2015
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All sorts of exciting STAR WARS news has been dropping this week, and whether it be new pictures from THE FORCE AWAKENS or even a rundown of the names of our new characters, it's all been exciting!. Today we have something that's just as heartfelt, as director J.J. Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan and producer Kathleen Kennedy discuss having Harrison Ford back as Han Solo, as well as how his broken leg affected production and his chemistry with co-star Peter Mayhew. This should bring a smile or two to any fan who grew up with the STAR WARS trilogy!

Kathleen Kennedy on Harrison Ford's return to STAR WARS:

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.

Harrison was going through his own experience, finding that place for himself again, to return to something that had been so much a part of his identity and acting career. It was his own little personal journey, but once he got there, it was amazing. I mean, he was Han Solo again. That’s why everybody else got so quiet! They were like, ‘Oh my God, he’s back!’

Lawrence Kasdan on the return of Han Solo:

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.

J.J. Abrams on Han Solo's role after Ford's accident:

When it became clear that he was going to be just fine, we realized we didn’t need to change [the script] at all. In fact, there are some places where he’s more active than he was prior to the accident. As you’ll see in the movie, he is running and doing more physical activity in this movie than I think anyone who knows he was injured would expect. Nothing was adjusted or lessened because of that accident. Even for Harrison, who is famously resilient and strong, he blew everyone’s minds.

Kennedy on reuniting Harrison Ford and his Chewbacca co-star Peter Mayhew:

We had a dinner and the whole cast was reunited just before we started shooting. 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.

I don't think it's any surprise that Harrison Ford is a total badass, but I couldn't be more happy with the crew Lucasfilm has assembled for THE FORCE AWAKENS, as well as the movies to follow. Lawrence Kasdan is responsible for writing two of my favorite movies of all time (EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), so hype is hard to keep in check! Somebody cue maestro Williams!

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

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7:53AM on 08/14/2015

I cant stop counting how many days are left every time I read a news bit!

Three more months and thirty three days....
Three more months and thirty three days....
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2:57PM on 08/13/2015
I can only imagine what it must have been like being on set and seeing Harrison Ford step out with Chewbacca as Han again. That has to be a dream for so many fans.
I can only imagine what it must have been like being on set and seeing Harrison Ford step out with Chewbacca as Han again. That has to be a dream for so many fans.
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2:41PM on 08/13/2015

Damn, now I'm starting to get paranoid

Everything I've read and seen about this movie is incredible, I'm starting to wonder if the finished product will live up to the hype!
Everything I've read and seen about this movie is incredible, I'm starting to wonder if the finished product will live up to the hype!
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2:45PM on 08/13/2015
Could it ever? I don't know if it can. There are monumental expectations from a monumental fanbase. I think the excitement of Star Wars returning to theaters will overshadow anything the film could possibly deliver. But I still think it will be a good film.
Could it ever? I don't know if it can. There are monumental expectations from a monumental fanbase. I think the excitement of Star Wars returning to theaters will overshadow anything the film could possibly deliver. But I still think it will be a good film.
3:39PM on 08/13/2015
On second thought, I'm confident it will be good. J.J. Abrams' work isn't perfect but it's always watchable and I think his style suits STAR WARS more than it did STAR TREK. Lawrence Kasdan's pedigree as a screenwriter is impeccable, and the cast is freaking phenomenal: I was almost as excited to hear that John Boyega was cast as I was when they announced the original leads were returning.

I'm just having flashbacks to seeing the shitfest that was THE PHANTOM MENACE.
On second thought, I'm confident it will be good. J.J. Abrams' work isn't perfect but it's always watchable and I think his style suits STAR WARS more than it did STAR TREK. Lawrence Kasdan's pedigree as a screenwriter is impeccable, and the cast is freaking phenomenal: I was almost as excited to hear that John Boyega was cast as I was when they announced the original leads were returning.

I'm just having flashbacks to seeing the shitfest that was THE PHANTOM MENACE.
10:35PM on 08/13/2015
The more we see the more misgivings I have about the narrative. So much of it seems so derivative of the Original Trilogy. Instead of Rebels, we have the Resistance. Instead of the Empire, we have the First Order. Kylo Ren is the stand in for Darth Vader. General Hux the replacement for Grand Moff Tarkin. Captain Phasma is a kind of mysterious Boba Fett figure.

If they have a weapon of mass destruction called a Necro Sphere, we'll really need to start worrying.
The more we see the more misgivings I have about the narrative. So much of it seems so derivative of the Original Trilogy. Instead of Rebels, we have the Resistance. Instead of the Empire, we have the First Order. Kylo Ren is the stand in for Darth Vader. General Hux the replacement for Grand Moff Tarkin. Captain Phasma is a kind of mysterious Boba Fett figure.

If they have a weapon of mass destruction called a Necro Sphere, we'll really need to start worrying.
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