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