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When Finn and Rey ask if he is Han Solo, he replies "I used to be" which is a reply Harrison Ford regularly gives fans when they ask if he is Harrison Ford.

I tried without any luck to find anything describing a situation in which he actually was asked this question and gave this response. I wanted to find it so I could hopefully understand what it means. So my question is

  1. Is the above statement true? And
  2. What does it mean? Why would Harrison Ford say he used to be himself?
  • 4
    Hmm. Since this actually has nothing to do with Star Wars, I'm tempted to VTC as off-topic and suggest migration to Movies:SE
    – Valorum
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:39
  • 4
    @Richard IMHO, someone who sees either the image or the "I used to be" story online somewhere is far more likely to look for an explanation here in SF&F than in Movie.SE so my vote is to leave it here. :)
    – RedCaio
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:47
  • 3
    @RedCaio Even though I don't have a horse in this race, anyone looking for this question is more likely to start with Google, which will link them to whichever site this question is on.
    – Xantec
    Apr 4, 2016 at 23:57
  • @Richard: is it off-topic here though? Behind-the-scenes and fandom information is definitely on-topic, so I can't see why this should be closed. And if it's on-topic here, then it doesn't need to be migrated. It's the OP's decision what site to post to, provided they don't cross-post or post somewhere it's off-topic.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 5, 2016 at 0:29
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor - Well, the question is just about Harrison Ford (the actor), not about his role in the Star Wars franchise which would push it heavily off topic. On the other hand, the question flows from a comic-con question put to another member of the Star Wars cast which would make it a fandom question. It's arguable either way. Personally, I haven't voted to close but I was on the fence for a while.
    – Valorum
    Apr 5, 2016 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


According to Entertainment Weekly, Ford has told this joke on at least one occasion, when he visited the 805 Restaurant in Peckham.

6:17 p.m. PT – What was it like working with the veteran actors? Boyega says his favorite memory was taking Harrison Ford to a Nigerian restaurant in Southeast London. A Nigerian man came up and said in a heavy accent, “ ‘Are you Harrison Ford?’ and Harrison Ford goes, ‘I used to be…’”

The humour in the situation comes from the fact that he didn't just used to be Harrison Ford, he is Harrison Ford (but he'd rather you didn't mention it and just served him his food).

  • Should I explain the joke, because I feel like that would kill it.
    – Valorum
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:20
  • 1
    So then... Ford saying "I used to be" has nothing to do with how he feels about Han Solo (or Star Wars etc.)?
    – RedCaio
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:35
  • 2
    @RedCaio - No. It's in much the same humourous vein as Michael Caine telling people he was a Caine lookalike so they'd leave him alone.
    – Valorum
    Apr 4, 2016 at 19:36
  • 2
    @Richard -- if I said, "Are you Michael Caine?" and he said, "Yes", I'd say, "Big fan!" and move on. If he said, "A Michael Caine lookalike", I'd hang around and ask him questions about the life of a celebrity lookalike. Apr 4, 2016 at 23:33
  • 1
    I don't think it's about him wanting to be left alone, he's more expressing that he's past the peak of his celebrity, at least in his own opinion. It might be expanded to "Hey are you that big movie star Harrison Ford?" "Well, I used to be a big movie star back in the 20th century, but while that's how you think of me - to me that's in the past." The sentiment makes sense to me, would you want everyone fixated on events from YOUR life in the 1970s and 80s?"
    – jsj
    Apr 5, 2016 at 0:53

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