May 22, 2018 6:09:33 pm
We live in the age of superhero films and Marvel makes sure that we get our dose of a fantasy superhero saga every few months but much before this formula became mainstream and the audience started accepting fantasy movies as a regular norm, we had Star Wars. Staring in 1977, the Star Wars movies gave us a fictional tale of a galaxy far away but in no way were those characters alien to us. Their moral conundrums, their dilemmas felt like our own and even though their technology was nothing like ours, one could relate to them. With characters Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, the Star Wars saga became a part of our world.
Han Solo, the bad boy whose intentions were never maligned, was a character who became an instant hit with the audience and much credit for the same goes to Harrison Ford, the actor who played this iconic character. Solo: A Star Wars Story, that is due for release on May 25, has Alden Ehrenreich playing Han Solo but no one can ever take away the charm that Harrison Ford brought to this fictional character.
Harrison Ford had a certain ruthless charm about him. He wasn’t the hero who had to save the day but chose to align himself with the good side only because he had a good heart. In the first film of the series, we are introduced to Han Solo with his Wookiee friend Chewbacca and their ship the Millennium Falcon.
Solo was the man who would yell a lot but his charm was undeniable. He was a pirate, but still, he was the hero. Through the course of the first movie, we find out quite a lot about the Star Wars universe and even though there are characters who are morally upright or even the quintessential ‘hero’ Luke Skywalker, the audience is drawn towards Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.
But how did Harrison Ford get this part?
Harrison Ford first met George Lucas when he was cast for a small part in Lucas’ 1973 film American Graffiti. When George Lucas was casting the part of Solo, he went through many actors including Christopher Walken, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and Al Pacino among others. Lucas did not want to use established actors for the role and was also very particular about not repeating the actors he had already worked with in previous films. Lucas was auditioning actors in groups. There were several Lukes, Leias and Solos in the running and they just needed one more Solo to read the lines. Ford was available and was called in just to read, it wasn’t even an audition.
“I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principal parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han, I was quite surprised when I was offered the part. My principal job at the time was carpentry,” Ford had once revealed in a Reddit AMA.
Harrison Ford’s enigmatic presence was such that he fit the bill. His nonchalant attitude, rough looks and spontaneity were attractive and it translated on the screen perfectly. Solo’s most iconic line “I know” to Leia’s “I love you” describes this character perfectly. So much was Ford in the skin of this character that this line was an improvisation on the set. The script read “I love you too” but Ford chose to go his own way.
Solo A Star Wars Story is a much-deserved stand-alone film for his character and we can only imagine what it would have looked like if Ford had played this part in a venture like this. The events of this film tell the story of how he got the possession of the Millennium Falcon. The early reviews of the film suggest that Alden Ehrenreich has done a good job fitting in those large shoes of Ford but we still believe that for generations to come whenever the saga of Han Solo is mentioned, Harrison Ford will always be the man who pops in our head first.
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