While many expected Harrison Ford might have a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker, his final appearance in the Star Wars saga still came as a shock to most watching the movie for the first time. And the scene between Kylo Ren and his father still has some fans scratching their heads. Harrison Ford has long claimed he was finished with the iconic sci-fi series. So what convinced him to come back for one more turn as space pirate turned Rebellion hero?
It was J.J. Abrams who got Harrison Ford to commit to the cameo, and apparently it wasn’t hard to convince the legendary actor to jump back into his old black space boots. In a recent sit down interview with Jimmy Kimmel to promote his upcoming Disney-Fox adventure Call of the Wild, he said this about showing up for a few precious moments in The Rise of Skywalker.
“No good deed goes unpunished. J.J. said, ‘This is a good idea. I, J.J., have decided this is a good idea and I would like you to do it.'”
Kimmel asks Harrison Ford if he trusts J.J. Abrams enough when he says something like that, and Ford responds, ‘Don’t You?’ So, that was that. Harrison Ford jumped out of bed, rushed to the set, and didn’t even bother to shave or comb his hair for The Rise of Skywalker cameo. He just showed up, did his lines, and went home. It was all a fairly painless process. When Jimmy Kimmel compares the resurrection to Jesus, Harrison Ford seems mildly irritated, ‘It’s not like Jesus!’
In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren kills his father Han Solo, thrusting his lightsaber through Han’s heart and dropping him into a shaft aboard the Starkiller base. Han Solo’s descent isn’t much different from how we see Emperor Palpatine perish in Return of the Jedi, so one has to wonder if J.J. Abrams ever toyed with the idea of bringing Han Solo back to life?
In The Rise of Skywalker, Han Solo appears to Kylo Ren as a memory. Ren is ready to embrace the light side of the force, and take back his Ben Solo name in honor of his father and mother when Han appears to him. Han Solo is not a Force Ghost, and the scene has ultimately confused some fans who don’t understand if this is just a scene playing out in Kylo’s head, or if he really is interacting with some version of his dead father. About ultimately killing off Han Solo, Harrison Ford said this about letting the character die.
“You’re putting a different complexion on it all. I figured that his utility had been exhausted. Bled out. And I was willing to die for the cause. To bring some gravitas. Some base.”
Harrison Ford wanted George Lucas to kill Han Solo off all the way back in Return of the Jedi. That never happened, but he finally got his wish in The Force Awakens. Most believed that Harrison Ford would never agree to another Star Wars appearance. But as we see, he’s open to it, and it doesn’t take much to get him to agree for a quick return. You can watch the interview with Jimmy Kimmel in the video below.