Han Should Have Died in Return of the Jedi, Says Harrison Ford

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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Han Should Have Died in Return of the Jedi, Says Harrison Ford

The Star Wars actor had a very specific fate in mind for Han Solo, but says that Lucas wasn't sold on the idea of "dead Han toys."

Harrison Ford's performance as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies played a big role in making him a household name, but Ford says that he doesn't have much affection for the character. Speaking to
ABC News
, he said that he found Han boring, and had actually advocated his death to George Lucas

Ford was asked why audiences hadn't seen Han Solo in any other movies, to which he replied that he thought that it would be too difficult to work the character back into the canon, and even if someone did come up with a way, he didn't find the character particularly interesting. He thought Han should have died in Return of the Jedi, in order to give the movie a little bite, but said that the idea didn't go down well with George Lucas, who apparently didn't see much of a future in "dead Han toys."

Interestingly, this isn't the first time someone close to the original Star Wars movies said that Lucas cared more about merchandising than plotlines. Back in August [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102759-Lucas-Cared-More-About-Toys-Says-Star-Wars-Producer], Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz said that toy sales had had significant influence over the script for Return of the Jedi, which had also originally called for Han to die.

As good as the original Star Wars trilogy was, the characters weren't exactly nuanced, so it's not hard to understand why actors might find them a little dull to play. Ford arguably had the most interesting character arc out of the principal cast, but it sounds like he didn't especially care for Lucas' insistence that Return of the Jedi should have a happy ending.

Source: via Blastr [http://blastr.com/2010/11/harrison-ford-han-solo-sh.php]



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Elesar

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Well the year before Jedi (1983) Ford was in Blade Runner, where he played one of the most nuanced and interesting characters in cinema. It's understandable that he might have soured on the interesting, but not as deep, Han Solo over that time.

Still Star Wars is nothing but an example of how adversity and mistakes can make something better. Maybe Han staying alive was one of those?
 

Kimarous

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Yyyyeah, um, Mr. Ford? You do realize that Return of the Jedi was originally going to let Lando Calrissian die in the final battle, but test audiences disliked it so much that they let him live, right? If they were that upset over Lando's potential death, how do you think the fans would feel over your own character's?
 

Blind Sight

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I actually thought he was dead at the end of the Empire Strikes Back when I watched it the first time at age seven. I liked Han, I thought he was a good, cynical contrast to Luke's blind idealism and Obi Wan's mysterious mysticism. The guy was a master pragmatist at the starting of the movies, but I really didn't like how quickly he gave in to conforming to what Luke and the rebels wanted. Oh well, at least when he showed up at the death star in the first movie his entrance was pretty awesome.
 

icyneesan

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I'd probably would have enjoyed the movie more and shed some manly tears if Han died. If I didn't I'm sure I would have enjoyed seeing fans burn down George Lucus's house down. Well I wouldn't have been born by then, but at least I'd get to hear about it, and see some old footage of it :D
 

Nigh Invulnerable

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Why is this news? I've heard similar things from Ford on the Special Edition DVDs bonus material, which was released over a decade ago, and it contained ancient interviews.
 

kouriichi

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Nooooooo!!
Han cant die! Then who will make love to Chewbacca in the back of the falcon!?!?

Errr..... i mean...... Yes. He should have died for the story..... and such.....
 

eljawa

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while this is old news (watch the behind the scenes on the fourth disk of the Star Wars Trilogy Boxset) I agree, it would have heightened the danger and made return of the jedi a better film, because, and as a star wars nerd this is hard to say, but despite what Randal argues in Clerks, Jedi is the weakest of the original trilogy, by a huge margin. (and weaker than Revenge of the Sith)
 

JediMB

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Han dying would have sucked.

He had to stay around long enough to shoot the Emperor in the back, for Pete's sake.
 

TimeLord

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I don't understand actors who do this.

Here we have successful film/series of films that shaped generations of children and adults alike but at some point after the end of the films we find out that the actor who played the beloved character of the film actually didn't like the character he/she played/wanted his character killed off.

Way for ruining my childhood Ford! Now I can't get an image of Han lying in the grass on Endor with a laser shot between his eyes and surrounded by sobbing Ewoks out of my head!!
 

The Austin

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Kimarous said:
Yyyyeah, um, Mr. Ford? You do realize that Return of the Jedi was originally going to let Lando Calrissian die in the final battle, but test audiences disliked it so much that they let him live, right? If they were that upset over Lando's potential death, how do you think the fans would feel over your own character's?
Win.

OP: Well, at least George Luscas's bloodlust for cash actually did something GOOD.
 

Popido

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Would have been great. Han dies and Chewbacca goes berserk from witnessing this. And then just leave Chewbacca's fate open-ended.
 
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Nigh Invulnerable said:
Why is this news? I've heard similar things from Ford on the Special Edition DVDs bonus material, which was released over a decade ago, and it contained ancient interviews.
I was just about to post the same thing.
 

WilliamRLBaker

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Kimarous said:
Yyyyeah, um, Mr. Ford? You do realize that Return of the Jedi was originally going to let Lando Calrissian die in the final battle, but test audiences disliked it so much that they let him live, right? If they were that upset over Lando's potential death, how do you think the fans would feel over your own character's?
A movie is about a script giving forth a story that is well written and connects with people, Its not about pandering to individual tastes of the fans If that were the case then no movie would be originally like it was when in script.

Its obvious that once Starwars became popular Lucas only cared about money after it was over which is why he made some of the choices he did, and why he ruined the entire franchise by producing 1-3 and doing all the edits and directors cut ultimate omega editions of the original trilogy and hes doing it again with the bluray release.
 

gigastrike

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Kimarous said:
Yyyyeah, um, Mr. Ford? You do realize that Return of the Jedi was originally going to let Lando Calrissian die in the final battle, but test audiences disliked it so much that they let him live, right? If they were that upset over Lando's potential death, how do you think the fans would feel over your own character's?
I was actually gonna post about how I thought that that should have happened. I had no idea that they actually considered it.
 

Jesus Phish

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TimeLord said:
I don't understand actors who do this.

Here we have successful film/series of films that shaped generations of children and adults alike but at some point after the end of the films we find out that the actor who played the beloved character of the film actually didn't like the character he/she played/wanted his character killed off.

Way for ruining my childhood Ford! Now I can't get an image of Han lying in the grass on Endor with a laser shot between his eyes and surrounded by sobbing Ewoks out of my head!!
Harrison was always known to dislike the character. And I think he's right, it would've added that little bit more bite to the movie. It didn't really need it, but it would've added it.

Although, if Han left the picture, who knows what Luke and his sister wouldve decided to do...