Society has a fascination with old people doing stuff that they shouldn’t. It’s a silly obsession, which makes the talk of Harrison Ford possibly returning to star in future Star Wars movies silly. It, by all means, shouldn’t happen.
Comedy gold is created when you take a woman whose limbs are made of dust and medical miracles, and fill her mouth with jokes about the vagina. The greatest comic of all time features an aged Batman coming out of retirement to taunt death and then get the crap knocked out of him. And theatres are filled when an action star returns to make sure that the grudge against his own joints is settled.
I have no reason to hate Harrison Ford. He’s not so much the warm grandfatherly figure that Morgan Freeman is, nor is he the gruff, older neighbor that Clint Eastwood perfectly embodies. Instead, he lies somewhere in the realm of “older man with a ton of cool stories.” He’s the professor that, in his day, before settling down, did loads of fascinating stuff.
He has gravitas and a spark to him now, but his adventures are over. Instead, rather than possibly embarrassing himself, he seems content with telling stories of the days when he could kick ass with a purpose, while currently enjoying the spoils that he received during of all those past days of kicking ass. He maintains mystery and curiosity that way.
However, as soon as the plan for new Star Wars movies was announced, a thousand rumors flew into the air, like the wings of a thousand stupid, tweeting birds. Could the original stars of the classic trilogy be brought back, hopefully to make jokes about how they were old and then do stuff with limited range because they were old?
Because, when you’re dealing with something as exciting as the prospect of Star Wars Episode VII: A Something, Star Wars Episode VIII: Bad Shit Doing Stuff and Star Wars Episode IX: Verb of the Space Noun, logic is replaced by joyous intrigue and confusion.
It’s the same logic that prevents you from remembering and realizing that Harrison Ford came back once before, and failed utterly. In Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ford once again played Indy Jones, and showed the world that he too was capable of defeating the beast that is good decisions.
In that film, Indy made quips like he was cheating on the English language and threw punches like he’d just lost a bet with his shoulders. There were talks of a sequel to it, which may still be happening, but I doubt it, since families usually have the right to pull the plug on a person who has a disease so terminal that he’d want to curse the world with Indiana Jones: Fuck It, Again.
Also, people excited for Harrison Ford to come back as Han Solo obviously don’t remember Return of the Jedi, a film that Ford originally didn’t even want to be in. He wanted to be killed off, but George Lucas nixed that, because, unless the corpse is of a whiny cast member on an AMC show, you can’t really make a toy about a dead space captain without it feeling absurd.
And plus, the big romance of that series was Han and Leia. Star Wars isn’t the kind of series to pull a Psycho and kill off a main character out of nowhere. It’s all about the great, epic feeling you get from it. If Han Solo’s last line had been the coy “I know,” sure it would’ve been fitting for him, but not fitting for the series.
However, just because Ford was persuaded into being in Return of the Jedi didn’t mean that he actually had to be in Return of the Jedi. It’s one of the worst performances of his career, and he looks to be consistently having no fun at all.
His lines are spoken with the same flat cadence and every smile seems to be literally cattle prodded onto his face. It’s a master class in watching an actor not give a fuck at all, and, after the sail barge explodes, it becomes my favorite part of the movie.
The next time you pop in the film, wait for the first scene where he has a one-on-one conversation with Lando Calrissian. Then, marvel at the awkwardness that seems to surround the two men.
Now, imagine putting him in a second sequel after the one where he explicitly wanted to die. I know that he might have expressed interest at playing Solo again, but I doubt that interest will hold for very long. I don’t know him personally, but considering that he wanted to die at the end of Empire Strikes Back, he seems like a pretty smart guy.