While Luke Skywalker is technically the main character of the Star Wars saga, arguably no other member of the central ensemble has ever rivaled the popularity of Han Solo. Harrison Ford’s combination of intensity and charisma grounded the original trilogy and definitively added to the series’ appeal. However, it won’t be long before Ford isn’t the only Han Solo on the block. The character will soon be recast for a spin-off film, but that leaves only one question: how does Harrison Ford feel about that?
In a recent interview, Ford provided a characteristically blunt statement about his involvement with the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film:
I’m sure whoever is responsible for that film, and I’m not, will think through the issues and problems of doing such a thing. Let’s make them responsible for those questions you might think to ask me [about the Han Solo movie] because I’m not involved.
Harrison Ford has tackled numerous iconic screen characters over the years, always leaving his mark when he departs from a role. Earlier in his interview with Reuters, he makes it clear that the importance of recasting Han Solo is not to find someone who embodies the traits of Harrison Ford, but to find someone who is able to inhabit Han Solo. When aksed if he'd be giving the new Solo any advice, Ford said frankly
No I'm not going to do that.
This ultimately means that the recast version of Han Solo might actually be incredibly different from Ford’s iteration of the character, but will still talk and act in a way that feels true to the character. Numerous names have been thrown around, from Chris Pratt to Josh Hutcherson, but nothing has been solidified yet, leaving us to continue speculating as to whom could be the best fit for the role.
Following in Ford’s footsteps is never easy. His take on Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan has pretty much become the definitive version, with actors like Ben Affleck and Chris Pine trying and failing to make the character their own. Hell, people even forget that Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan before Harrison Ford in The Hunt for Red October. This is one of the reasons that Indiana Jones won’t be recast, because studios want to keep Ford’s influence around and not do the "James Bond thing."
One thing is sure, whether Ford wants to admit it or not, whoever steps in as Han Solo for the prequel film will have some serious boots to fill. It’s exciting to know that the character will be taken in a new direction, but admittedly worrisome for fans who have become so used to seeing Ford don the vest and pilot the Falcon. We will keep you posted on the Han Solo spin-off as it becomes available, but until then you can catch Harrison Ford as the steely-eyed Corellian smuggler when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.