Warning for those who’ve been living under a rock: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens follow…
He’d been waiting for it since before Return of the Jedi, and after more than three decades of waiting Harrison Ford finally got his wish this past December with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Han Solo was killed off, with the iconic smuggler meeting his demise at the hands of his son Ben Solo, a.k.a. Kylo Ren. Speaking to Fandango (via Comic Book), director J.J. Abrams has revealed Ford’s reaction when he told him about his character’s fate:
“He was very thoughtful about it, and he got it,” states Abrams. “He understood why it was so powerful. And I think part of it was because Harrison himself — Han, the character — has so much ahead of him. Has so much life and fight and adventure — that this was the time to do that thing. If we felt like the character was sort of at the end of his days, it wouldn’t have been as powerful. The thing that made it potentially meaningful wasn’t just who does it and how it happened, but that it’s a character that is so vital that is meeting his demise. I’ll also say that Harrison’s always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that’s what he wanted to do. And that’s why he argued back in the day that Han should die and George [Lucas] didn’t want to do it. And I don’t know what his utility in that regard would’ve been, though I’m sure Harrison would’ve come up with a clever pitch for it. But in this case there was such a clear utility — it’s about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there’s nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens sees J.J. Abrams directing returning stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), in addition to Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Ken Leung (Lost), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Jessica Henwick (Spirit Warriors), Christina Chong (24: Live Another Day), Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen.