George Lucas,  Sequel Trilogy,  The Force Awakens

George Lucas reportedly wanted Han Solo to die in Episode VII


From GQ:

“[Harrison] Ford’s least expected late-career reprise was his return to the world of Star Wars. “I was surprised,” he concedes. The first call came from George Lucas. “It was proposed that I might make another appearance as Han Solo. And I think it was mentioned, even in the first call, that he would not survive. That’s something I’d been arguing for for some period of time”—Ford had unsuccessfully lobbied for Solo to die in Return of the Jedi in 1983—“so I said okay.”

Was that a necessity for you to be involved?

“Not necessarily. But it was, you know, an interesting development of the character.”
This year Ford attended his first Star Wars “Celebration” fan event, in commemoration of the first film’s 40th anniversary. “I was asked to make an appearance and I did,” he says, as though only the want of an invitation has kept him away until now. He appeared on a panel with Lucas, and I was surprised to watch Ford bring up his famous criticism of the director’s clunky dialogue right to his face: “You can type this shit, but you can’t say it.”

Lucas doesn’t get offended by that?

Ford laughs, as if this has never really crossed his mind. “I don’t think so. He sold the company for, you know, $4 billion. He doesn’t give a shit what I think.” Ford reminisces about the first time he shared this opinion on the Star Wars set. “George usually sits near a monitor, far removed, so I had to convey my impression…or my feelings…about the dialogue across a great space. So I did shout it. ‘George! You can type this shit, but you sure can’t say it! Move your mouth when you’re typing!’ But it was a joke, at the time. A stress-relieving joke.”

Reminder: Lucas wrote a treatment for Episode VII before leaving Lucasfilm, but only a few ideas remained.


  • W Scott

    Sorry, Lucas did not write an “official” treatment for his Episode VII. He did have a collection of noted ideas which Michael Arndt produced an outline. During the run-up to the release of TFA, Ford was telling the press that prior to signing he wanted to read “something” to enable a decision. This was in contrast to Hamill and Fisher who had agreed on the proviso that all 3 of them were involved or none of them were. Hamill has said in a number of occasions (including an interview with The Nerdist podcast last December) that he believed that Ford would never agree. That outline had the Luke, Leia and Han separated, but crucially surviving, with Han and Leia reforming their relationship.

    This changed when J J Abrams was signed as director and Michael Arndt felt that he was unable to produce a re-write within a specific time-frame as
    J J Abrams began discussing his own ideas including killing Solo in an effort to make the project “bold” and “dangerous”. Arndt was having difficulty with combining the old characters with the new as, by his own admission, at the WGA Writer’s West TFA panel in December 2015, every time he was writing Luke, Luke became the dominant character. The feeling of Abrams, Arndt and Kasdan (at the same panel) was that they didn’t have ideas where Solo was carrying their story forward and so was “sexy luggage”.

    This panel was hosted by Anthony Breznican (EW magazine) and is available via Breznican’s Soundcloud site.

    This is a piece of “official history” which is rapidly becoming extremely fluid to whatever suits whoever.

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