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The rumor mill just keeps on chugging in the wake of the Lucasfilm sale. There’s plenty of speculation about which new director will take up George Lucas‘ reins for Star Wars: Episode VII, but the hottest rumor has to do with someone very familiar with the series.
Reports abound that Harrison Ford might be willing to reprise his role as charismatic smuggler/rebellion hero Han Solo. In fact, EW’s source references all three of the original trilogy’s stars — Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher — as being interested in participating in Episode VII. If the new-look Disney-run Lucasfilm can pull off such a coup, it would go a long way towards winning over any fans who were on the fence about further sequels, ensuring a sense of continuity with the beloved original trilogy.
It’s a pretty common tactic these days for studios looking to engratiate their new films with old favorites; J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek tried a similar move by bringing back Leonard Nimoy to reprise his role as Spock. But this case is especially surprising considering Ford’s notoriously prickly attitude toward Star Wars in the past.
The actor has never been fond of the films or his popular character, and generally refuses to take part in any promotional events related to the series. Rumors have floated for decades that Ford wanted out as early as Return of the Jedi, and early screenplay drafts of the film did in fact include Solo’s death.
So, it’s unclear what might have prompted Ford to have a change of heart. Certainly, with George Lucas mostly out of the picture now, the strained personal relationship between him and Ford would no longer be an issue. And with Disney throwing billions of dollars around like it’s nothing, the actor would almost certainly get a huge payday just for showing up. In any case, it still seems likely that Ford’s appearance would be a brief one — even if this is confirmed, we shouldn’t expect Solo to feature in more than one film.