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It’s been about thirty years since we last witnessed the outer space antics of Han Solo in the Star Wars universe – and no matter how you slice it, that’s a long time. Not only can many adventures be had in that span, but a person can actually become completely different than the person that you once knew. This will certainly be an element that we’re looking for in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens - but if you’re expecting the movie to spell out everything that’s happened over the last three decades, you may want to rethink that notion.

This past weekend, I had the incredible pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Harrison Ford to talk about his role in the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, and it was during our conversation that I asked about discovering a balance in the movie between who Han Solo was and who he is now. With all of the secrecy surrounding the film, Ford couldn’t exactly tell me about how the famed smuggler-turned-rebel has changed in the time since we last saw him, but he did explain that audiences will begin to understand what has happened through various context clues and details sprinkled through The Force Awakens. Said the legendary actor,
That’s part of the genius in the telling of this story. There is backstory that is explained in the context of this film which explains the history that has occurred off-screen, and conditions the relationships you’ll see played out in the telling of this particular story.

When you think about it, this does fit in with the legacy of Star Wars. While the history of the fictional universe was eventually fully explored with George Lucas’ prequels, the first film in the franchise did an amazing job of just dropping you into its world and expecting you to pick up on what’s been going on through the events that occur in the story. It’s hard to imagine that there would be a natural moment in The Force Awakens where Han could explain exactly what’s been going on with him these past 30 years – so it’s nice to know that we won’t have to sit through a bunch of clunky expositional dialogue.

You can watch Harrison Ford talk about the man Han Solo has become in the clip below:
As you’ll see in that video, I also took the opportunity to ask Harrison Ford about the key elements of Han Solo that he felt it important to carry through to this new generation – and while he couldn’t answer that directly, he did explain what the key was to bringing the character back after all these years, and making sure that he is recognizable as the same guy we all became originally enamored with years ago:
I think what’s important is that you are faithful to the original character, and that the development of him proceeds without violating what you know about him. And yet gives you the opportunity for some surprises and growth in his character and nature.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, as I had the chance to talk with all the main players in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast this past weekend, and will be sharing our conversations with you in the days to come, leading up to December 18th. Stay tuned!