Inside Harrison Ford’s Return as Han Solo
Harrison Ford’s first day back as Han Solo after 32 years was not the “Chewie, we’re home” scene, but that’s how it felt for those who watched it that day on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It took place on a soundstage at Pinewood Studios outside London, the same place the original trilogy was shot. Lots of massive movies have been made there, including most of the 007 titles and some of the later Harry Potter films. Crews here are old hands, and not the kind to get starstruck.
That’s why Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was caught off guard by their reaction. “The minute Harrison and Chewie walked on board the Millennium Falcon — that was incredible,” she tells EW. “Every single person on the set was stunned. I remember turning around, and there must have been 200 people gathered behind me — completely quiet. I didn’t even know they were there. The whole crew had stopped working, staring at the monitor, because it was so iconic.”
Lawrence Kasdan, who worked on the original trilogy and wrote The Force Awakens with director J.J. Abrams also took note of that hush. “It was sort of surreal for everybody, and it wasn’t just Han, it wasn’t just Harrison. It was seeing all this stuff,” he says. “TheMillennium Falcon has been a big part of my life, fromEmpire to Jedi to Force Awakens — and now I’ve written a movie about the young Han. So the Falconhas enormous resonance for me. And I don’t know if you can imagine what it would be like to watch things being shot on that set with those people.”
He laughs, trying to find the right words, and settles on: “It’s pretty cool!”
The entire article, including Ford’s on-set accident and his on-screen reunion with Peter Mayhew can be found online at EW.com.