I've heard claims here and there about Harrison Ford's attitude toward the Star Wars franchise, with most claiming that he hates it or used to hate it, etc.

Did he like Star Wars and then grew to dislike it? Or vice versa? If he ever did dislike Star Wars, then why? etc.

Basically, what has been Harrison Ford's attitude(s) towards Star Wars?

  • 3
    Harrison Ford is arguably the most successful actor in history. Why would he relish playing a supporting role as a character best know for zingers with little on screen depth? Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 16:40
  • 2
    It's worth noting that Ford's own wife, of all people, did not know what the Millennium Falcon is while he was filming The Force Awakens. Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 19:32
  • 4
    @JakeGould I'll admit I can't name anything Mark Hamill has done other than Star Wars, but Carrie Fisher? Come now… When Harry Met Sally? Family Guy? Plus a whole bunch of minor one-episode roles in various series like Entourage and The Big Bang. She's done other stuff than just Star Wars. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 1:15
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Also The Blues Brothers and Hannah and her Sisters. And Under the Rainbow - but perhaps we ought to forget that one. :)
    – RobertF
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 2:41
  • 3
    Mark Hamill is the voice of The Joker in the Batman Animated Series from the 90s and the recent videogames from Rocksteady. Hardly a meager existence.
    – Kyle
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 8:43

3 Answers 3


I do have canon quotes to back it up ;-)

Ford claims to be honoured to appear in Star Wars now.

As quoted in this article:

"It should have felt ridiculous!" Ford barked, when asked about returning to the franchise. "Here I was, doing something I did so long ago." I could feel the fans around me steeling themselves.

And then Ford paused, significantly. "I will tell you that it felt great," he said. "I was proud and grateful to once again be involved."

But he used to hate his role as Han Solo, preferring Indiana Jones.

From this article (emphasis mine):

But whenever the conversation turned to [Han Solo], Ford’s crooked smile tended to bend south and be punctuated with an eyeball roll. “He’s dumb as a stump,” the actor groaned.

[...] “He’s a cultural institution,” I said. “At no credit to the culture for embracing him as a hero,” Ford shrugged back, unrepentant.

[...] In 2010, when MTV broached the topic of reprising Solo (long before anyone considered that a remote possibility), Ford answered: “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.

He hasn’t changed his tune much. Back in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was about to open, Ford was interviewed on the Today show expressing his dislike for Solo – and his determination not to play him again. “Three’s enough for me,” he said. “I was glad to see that costume for the last time.”

Rumour has it that he wanted his character to be killed off in Return of the Jedi, and even that Han was killed off in an early draft of the script.

But before Indiana Jones, he was more keen on Star Wars and Han!

During the first two Star Wars films (1977 and 1980), before he got his big break with Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), he was much more involved with the Star Wars effort and the character of Han Solo. From this article (emphasis mine):

Ford's mea culpa after viewing the finished "Star Wars" for the first time: "I told George: 'You can't say that stuff. You can only type it.' But I was wrong. It worked." Ford has never seemed at ease in interviews, but in this interview from 1977 he looks genuinely excited to be discussing "Star Wars." (Watch him gush over the opening shot of the film at 1:07.)

Ford's career didn't exactly explode after the release of "Star Wars." In an interview from 1980 that appears on the Indiana Jones Blu-ray set, he says that he didn't get the kind of scripts he had hoped for until "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came along. And the list of films he appeared in before "The Empire Strikes Back" (not counting a cameo in "Apocalypse Now") -- "The Frisco Kid," "Hanover Street" -- is less than inspiring. By the time "Empire" started filming, Ford still seemed to enjoy playing Han Solo.

Actually, the Ford depicted in Rinzler's equally fantastic "The Making of The Empire Strikes Back" seems even more invested in Solo. "Empire" was a much more grueling shoot than "Star Wars," but Ford wasn't just along for the ride. "I think of myself as an assistant storyteller," he said at the time, and there's no better example of that than his debate with "Empire" director Irvin Kershner over the carbon freezing scene.

In the script, Solo's response to Leia's declaration of love for him was written as "I love you, too." It's now lore that Ford changed it to "I know." But if you read the transcript of Ford's conversation with Kershner on the set, you can see that Ford wasn't just being a smartass. He put a lot of thought into that line. "But if she says, 'I love you,' and I say, 'I know,' it's beautiful and it's acceptable and it's funny," he pleaded. "The point is, I'm not worried about myself anymore; I'm worried about her."

This does not sound like a man who didn't find his character "interesting."

Even while promoting "Empire," Ford still hadn't yet developed his gruff attitude toward "Star Wars." Again, he actually seems relatively excited to be talking about the movie. (That would change before "Return of the Jedi" was released.)

  • 16
    Consider removing the spoiler... Because it doesn't help the actual answer and I tapped it accidentally...
    – cubuspl42
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 11:03
  • 10
    @cubuspl42 If that's actually a spoiler for you, 1. what are you doing on the Internet? 2. why are you clicking on questions related to Star Wars? Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 11:26
  • 18
    @AnthonyGrist Well, that's a bit rude. 1. Why should we make the internet any more hostile a place than it already is? 2. Someone interested in SW who's planning to go and see the new film might well be interested to find out factoids like Harrison Ford's attitude towards SW.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 11:34
  • 7
    @randal'thor My point was that the Internet is full of spoilers, most of them not hidden behind explicit markup for them, and a lot of them posted intentionally in places totally unrelated to Star Wars. If you haven't yet seen the film, and you don't want to come across spoilers, avoiding the Internet entirely is your very best bet for that being the case. If you can't do that, then at least avoiding anything explicitly about Star Wars is your next best bet, because you don't know what it might contain. Making a point of it when it's a result of your own explicit choices just strikes me as off Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 11:42
  • 12
    @cubuspl42 agreed. couldn't it at least be marked as a force awakens spoiler, if not removed? i did the same...the text above it makes the spoiler seem as though it's from return of the jedi, not the force awakens. found out something i didn't want to know until i see the movie.
    – RianBattle
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 13:14

I don't have canon quotes to back it up, but basically his attitude wasn't that he severely disliked Star Wars (the way Sir Alec Guinness did), but he disliked:

  • The disproportionate weight it was attaching in his acting career. HE didn't see himself as Han Solo, but many if not most of his fans did.

  • He disliked Han compared to other roles he played.

    Later, when Return of the Jedi rolled around, Ford notoriously lobbied Lucas to kill off his character, to no avail. What did he have against Han? "He was not so interesting to me," Ford would explain in one interview, adding in another, "He’s certainly a much less interesting character than Indiana Jones," before concluding, "He’s dumb as a stump." (source)

  • The uber-serious way people took Star Wars. To him, it's a job, done well. Not a mythological universe he has his head stuck into.

    this is a point where I look at myself in the mirror :)

    This is perfectly exemplified in the mini-interview he did in the media blitz before TFA release.

    The host asked several TFA people the same series of questions, one of which was "Did Han shoot first?". EVERYONE - including J.J. Abrams - forcefully declared that of course Han shot first.

    Harrison Ford, in a way only he can emote, deadpanned: "I don't care"

  • Interestingly, his attitude towards Star Wars seemed to have severely improved with TFA.

    Once can, of course, lob it off on a publicity/flack move, but this is Harrison Ford we are talking about. He has built up a huge amount of credibility, and now it pays off - for one, I trust that he's being genuine.

    Here's what he said at ComiCon

    It should have felt ridiculous!" Ford barked, when asked about returning to the franchise. "Here I was, doing something I did so long ago." I could feel the fans around me steeling themselves.

    And then Ford paused, significantly. "I will tell you that it felt great," he said. "I was proud and grateful to once again be involved."

  • 1
    "the way Sir Alec Guinness did" hmm... I think I feel another question coming on! :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:38
  • 4
    Crap. I see a DVK answer that starts with "I don't have canon quotes", find some canon quotes, and then you add them into your answer 2 seconds before I post mine! :-/
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:42
  • 1
    OK, now I have more quotes than you do, and I've shown not only that Ford's attitude went from dislike to like, but also that it went from like to dislike to like before RotJ.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:50
  • 3
    @randal'thor - Sometimes offline things take priority. Enjoy the ninja moment! :P))))) Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:54
  • 3
    @DVK You need to sort out your priorities ;)
    – Au101
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 3:10

Reading between the lines, it's obvious he considered it all nonsense; and in understanding his generation, I can easily see that. It is for the most part. Does that mean he's ever hated it? No.

I'm quite sure he enjoyed himself in his role (One of two roles that later opened many doors for him). Actors tend to enjoy any opportunity to display their ability to act. Among other more personal reasons I wouldn't feel is my place to comment upon.

People now have to remember that Sci Fi, in general, was very niche back then and largely considered very flunky. The more practical question would be, did he ever think Star Wars would be received the way it was? -- and I'm quite sure he's gone on record as having said he never thought it would. Thus'n'therefore "things change".

  • 3
    This is very speculative but you must be basing it on some stuff Ford has said considering your opening line. Could you find some relevant quotes to edit in and back it up?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 12:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.