Solo Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford, the original Han Solo, served as a covert technical advisor on Solo: A Star Wars Story. While it’s easy to assume that the frequently gruff Ford wouldn’t have much interest in yet another Star Wars movie, reports indicate he offered some sage advice about one of his most famous characters. More on the Solo Harrison Ford advice below.

You might recall this photo that popped up on Twitter last year. Yep, a blurry image of Harrison Ford having lunch with Solo: A Star Wars story star Alden Ehrenreich.

I had assumed that once Harrison Ford cashed his check for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he was done with the Star Wars franchise. Ford delivered a genuinely touching final performance as Han Solo in the sequel, but he’s always been slightly curmudgeon-y about the entire franchise. In other words, it seemed safe to say that Ford would probably not have any involvement with the young Han Solo film. When I saw the photo above, I thought Ford likely offered some blunt, no-nonsense advice to Ehrenreich, and then went his separate way. But EW reports otherwise.

Per their story, not only did Ford offer advice to Ehrenreich, he also served as a “covert advisor” on the upcoming Ron Howard-directed Star Wars film. EW says Ford “kept a respectful distance,” but that he also provided “vital insights into the character he has lived with, sometimes uncomfortably, for four decades.” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirms she sent Ford a copy of the script and that he approved of it. Kennedy added:

“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed…He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”

Ron Howard also sought out Ford’s advice when he took over the film after original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired. Howard says Ford talked about Han’s perpetual loneliness:

“Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character…He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting.”

As for the above lunch meeting image, Ehrenreich provides some detail in a separate interview:

“He said a great thing when I met him. ‘Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone.’…I wanted to meet him because I just felt generally it wouldn’t be right to do the movie without some kind of contact with him, and I’m really glad I did. He was very, very supportive. And it’s just cool to have lunch with Harrison Ford.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 25, 2018.

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