The Star Wars saga is one of the most beloved franchises of all-time, spanning multiple decades with stories told in all types of media including film, television, print, and everything in between.
The central focus of the epic story is the struggle between the light and dark side of the force and is threaded together by the members of the Skywalker family. While the Skywalkers are heavily featured, the magic of Star Wars is due to the many other people, aliens, robots, and other creatures that inhabit the vast universe.
One of these characters is Han Solo (Harrison Ford), whose legendary Kessel Run and heroics during the Galactic Civil War helped him to become one most recognizable names in the entire galaxy.
Who is Harrison Ford and his character Han Solo?
First introduced as a smuggler in the original Star Wars film, which was later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope, Han quickly became a fan favorite.
The shoot-first, ask-questions-later style of Han, and the will-they or won’t they romance with Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), helped the original trilogy grow into the classic that it is today.
Han’s origins with his best buddy the Wookie Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon are explained in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which starred Alden Ehrenreich as the legendary character. The film received mixed reviews from fans, and plans for a sequel are likely canceled.
Ford got the part of Han despite being a relatively unknown actor, which he used a launching pad to become one of the most famous actors of all-time with iconic roles in such films as The Fugitive, Air Force One, and Blade Runner, as well as his other famous franchise with George Lucas, the Indiana Jones series.
Han Solo in the sequel trilogy
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In January 2016, Lucasfilm and their new owners Disney announced that the beloved series would continue. The first of the new films was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and was followed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Also released during the new period of Star Wars was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story, which focused on separate parts of the galaxy far, far away. When the sequel trilogy was announced, many fans wondered if classic characters like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia, and Han would return.
Each of the classic character did return, including Han. Most of Han’s story in the sequel trilogy revolves around his desire to save his son Ben Solo (Adam Driver), who has gone to the dark side and become a Sith named Kylo Ren. Han also reconnects with Ben’s mother General Leia, but decades of separation leave them unable to rekindle their famous romance.
Fan reactions to Solo in the sequel trilogy
Han shows a lot of growth in Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, while still maintaining his trademark rogue style. The sequels show Han as a flawed character, but one that cares for those that he loves. The final film in the Skywalker saga also serves as an emotional sendoff of the classic character. This mix of classic Han and character development has caused many fans to praise Ford’s performance, saying that it contains some of the best Han moments in the entire franchise.
As a young actor, Ford was mostly known for his good looks and ability to play action stars, and his acting ability was somewhat overlooked. In the sequel trilogy, Ford is able to showcase his underrated acting chops, which was noticed and appreciated by fans.
One of these moments is between Han and Rey (Daisy Ridley) when the captain of the Millennium Falcon asks the young Jedi to join his crew. The impactful scene shows that Han truly cares for Rey, and serves as a beautiful passing of the torch to a new set of characters and Star Wars stories.
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