Harrison Ford Spilled the Secrets of Han to the Solo Cast

The actor served as a private advisor for the new Star Wars Movie
IMAGE Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The Skywalker family has been exhaustively detailed over nine movies and two generations, but we still don't know a whole lot about the best character in the Star Wars universe: Han Solo (tied with Leia).

The scruffy looking nerf herder's story tragically ended in The Force Awakens, when his son Kylo Ren murdered him. But what about the beginning? We don't know much about where he got the Millennium Falcon, what happened during his famous Kessel Run, how he met Chewbacca, or really what to make of fellow scoundrel Lando Calrissian.

Some of that will be answered in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, when Alden Ehrenreich picks up the role of young Han. But before the crew started writing, they consulted with Harrison Ford, the man who has been Han Solo for decades.

And when Ford spoke with Ehrenreich, he said to the young actor: “Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone," according to Entertainment Weekly.

To his credit, Ehrenreich honored that promise. But what did he tell Ehrenreich? Thankfully, director Ron Howard reveals a lot about the mysterious past Ford always believed about Solo.

“Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character,” Howard told EW. “He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting.”


Perhaps that's why Solo connected so quickly to the abandoned Rey in The Force Awakens.

“Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s quite as smart as he needs to be,” Howard said. “Change that. He’s not really ‘smart.’ That’s not the word he used. Han’s not as on top of it as he needs to be. So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he’s often scrambling. I think Harrison played that beautifully, and Alden and I talked about both of those ideas a lot.”

Good to see the new Han Solo still retains some Harrison Ford, as it should be.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for
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