In 1976, despite their misgivings about hiring unknown actors for the film, Twentieth Century Fox agree that Harrison Ford be chosen to embody Han Solo in the big movie saga Star Wars. Harrison Ford got the role against stiff competition from Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Richard Dreyfuss. George Lucas said Harrison Ford seemed more able to embody a character who has a cynical dimension that contrasts with Luke and Leia.
It is also a character older than the other characters, with the notable exception of the one played by Alec Guinness, the famous British actor whose presence compensated a division formed by unknown actors, an amazing risk for film of this magnitude. With the feeling of being involved in a film for children, the actors had trouble interpreting their role seriously and made constant jokes during filming.
With a salary of $650,000, this movie finally permitted Ford to leave his job as a carpenter and concentrate fully on her career. Despite the failure prematurely announced by Fox, Star Wars became a huge success and made the actor one of the favourites of the 70s public.
The film gave rise to two sequels in which Ford continued in the role; Return of the Jedi and The Empire strikes back, in which his role as comedian takes on a new dimension with the dramatic evolution of the role of Han Solo, along with both his romantic relationship with Leia and her awkward position against the betrayal of his friend, Lando Calrissian.
Princess Leia declared her love and he had to answer ‘I love you,’ but seeing that it was unconvincing, Irvin Kershner, the director, asked him to improvise. He then switched to the reply ‘I know’, which is inextricably linked to his character. Screenwriters had a problem when Harrison Ford refuses to appear in the third episode of the saga. Indeed, George Lucas was not sure that Star Wars saga success would carry on without him, but Harrison suddenly accepted the role after his success in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
He Finally confirmed his participation and appeared again in The Return of the Jedi. To compensate for the lack of depth of the character, he wanted a heroic death for Han Solo, but George Lucas refused.