The non-superhero superhero is a role that Harrison Ford has seemingly taken a little too seriously in his real life as he continually defies death while endlessly crashing his aeroplane. The 80-year-old star is the all-action face of thrills without lycra, both off-screen and on it. However, the role that launched him as a gunslinger with an abundance of charm is one that he has grown to dislike.
He was once told by the head of Columbia Pictures that he had “no future” in acting, so he took up the steady trade of carpentry instead. “Through carpentry, I fed my family and began to pick and choose from among the roles offered,” he once said. “I could afford to hold out until something better came along. But I never gave up my ambition to be an actor. I was frustrated but never felt defeated by my frustration.”
In the end, this profession led to a serendipitous encounter with George Lucas that led to him becoming Han Solo, and everything is pretty much ancient history after that. Naturally, this means that Harrison has a begrudging respect for the part, but if it wasn’t for the riches that it afforded him, you get the impression that the former carpenter doesn’t care much for Star Wars, as you’ll see from some of the evidence below.
First and foremost, even upon initially landing the role, Ford had questions about his character, as he told Starpulse: “I did think the character itself was relatively thin. I would have liked to see some complication for the character; the only complication I didn’t get was to die at the end of the third one. I thought that would have given the whole film a bottom, but I couldn’t talk George into it.”
Thus, the character may have launched Ford’s career, but he can’t escape the fact that his arc is about well-rounded as a ruler. Fans certainly don’t agree with that, but having knocked up doorframes before landing it, the actor had a keen eye for structure beyond superficial charm. Therefore, when he set about returning, he did so on the guarantee that Solo would finally show his mortality.
This ended his exhaustive battle to get some sort of depth out of Solo’s puddle of persona. “He’s got a good heart but I think he’s certainly a much less interesting character than Indiana Jones. He’s dumb as a stump,” Ford told Entertainment Weekly. “The breadth of his story utility was never extensive. He was the foil between the other more compelling elements of the film, between the sage old warrior and the young hero. There’s not much breadth of character to explore beyond what we got out of him.”
Beyond his gripe with the character, Ford hasn’t been a fan of how long it has lingered either. As he once said about the prospect of reprising his role without the promise of a death: “No, no, no. Han Solo was very good to me at a certain point in my career. But I’m done. I’m done with him.”
And finally, aside from the gripes, the reason fans seem to put their finger on Harrison’s dislike is not so much to do with what he has said about the film and more to do with what he hasn’t said. While has expressed gratitude about being part of it and the force for launching his career that it proved to be, he has never really offered up much of a compliment. His message on that front has been akin to the classic exchange of, “I love you,” to which Solo replies, “I know.”