Why Harrison Ford Originally Signed On For More Indiana Jones Movies Than Star Wars

Harrison Ford in Star Wars

Harrison Ford is an institution in American cinema, having starred in some seriously iconic movie franchise. Most notable are his iconic tenure as Han Solo in Star Wars, as well as the title character of the Indiana Jones movies. Both of these roles helped Ford become a mainstay in pop culture and film history, but it turns out that he originally had more faith in one than the other. Namely, he signed on for multiple Indiana Jones flicks while being unsure of Star Wars' success.

Han Solo and Indy are two famously sexy action heroes, which have both lived long lives on the big screen. Harrison Ford has appeared in five Star Wars movies and is set to star in Indiana Jones 5 (which recently lost Steven Spielberg as director). But Ford explained why the latter franchise inspired more confidence when signing on, as he put it:

While I had not agreed to do three Star Wars films, in the case of Indiana Jones, I felt there was enough information to allow me to agree to do a number of those.

Talk about a plot twist. While Star Wars ended up becoming one of the most popular franchises all time, Harrison Ford wasn't so sure after working with George Lucas on A New Hope. That first installment in the galaxy far, far away was a major risk, while the future of the Indiana Jones movies seemed a bit more straight forward. If only he knew.

Generations of moviegoers have been brought up on Star Wars, George Lucas was breaking new ground back with A New Hope (which was simply titled Star Wars at the time of release). The blockbuster was dealing with some high concepts and out of this world imagery, having the potential to flop at the box office. But quite the opposite happened, and a phenomenon began with 1978 that would continue for decades to come.

Later in his conversation with Vanity Fair, Harrison Ford spoke to the ultimate success of the Star Wars franchise, although he admitted he didn't ever plan on playing Han Solo indefinitely. In his words,

Star Wars was a big success. So I was happy to come back and play Han Solo again. And again. And again. But that was enough.

Ultimately Harrison Ford would complete the original trilogy as Han Solo, and have two appearances in J.J. Abrams' sequels. The Force Awakens was very much focused on the character of Han, serving as a mentor to Rey while attempting to bring his son back to the Light Side. While he was absent from The Last Jedi following Han's death, Ford popped up for a brief scene in The Last Jedi to bring closure to Ben's relationship with his father.

Indiana Jones is currently expected to arrive in theaters in July of 2021. But with Steven Spielberg out as director, there's no telling if any delays might happen for Harrison Ford's fifth appearance as Indy. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.