The length of time that has passed since the 1977 publication of the original trilogy is one thing that the Star Wars sequels make glaringly clear. Many fans got to see their favourite Star Wars characters in their later years for the first time. Although it wasn’t necessarily a terrible thing, the filmmakers were a little concerned.
Mark Hamill voiced his concerns in a conversation with The New York Times. “Nobody wants to see us in our 50s, 60s, or 70s racing around and colliding with the Death Star. That is sad.”
Hamill was partially correct; the older characters would draw a good amount of criticism from fans. However, the majority of their criticisms weren’t about the characters’ age, but rather how they were portrayed. They believed that the classic characters that they had known for so long had been abused in the sequels.
It seems Hamill was the only one who believed they were too old to take on their previous roles. Hamill was actually taken aback when he learned that Harrison Ford had agreed to star in the sequels. Ford was “too old, too rich, and too cranky,” in his opinion, to accept the offer. Ford agreed, though, and Hamill felt compelled to do the same. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Ford never felt too old to play Han Solo, despite being by far the oldest of the main protagonists.
Harrison Ford Was the Oldest Member of the Main Cast in Star Wars
Harrison Ford reportedly took on the role of Han Solo when he was 35 years old, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, who played the roles of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, respectively, were 26 and 21 years old (via ASmoothSea). Ford stood out from the rest of the cast since he was almost 10 years older than his co-stars.
He was also the only one of the trio to land his position by chance. Ford started acting when he was 21 but his career never really took off. He agreed to a deal that would pay him $150 a week to play small parts in films and television shows. His breakthrough performance came in the movie American Graffiti. In addition, Ford primarily supported himself by working as a carpenter on film sets. He was given the chance to play Han Solo after a studio supervisor requested him to take part in a line-reading at random. Ford’s career was sparked by that one encounter. He would become well-known and appear in hit movies like Blade Runner and Indiana Jones.
Harrison Ford’s Seemed Fated for the Role That Would Eventually Launch His Career
A crucial lesson is taught by the tale of how Harrison Ford’s career took off: success can occur at any time. You never know when a decision can cause a chain reaction that completely transforms your life. Both Harrison Ford and Star Wars experienced the same thing.
Similar to Ford, the success of Star Wars seemed to happen at random. For it to become a worldwide phenomenon, all the stars had to be in the right place, which brings us back to the sequels and Mark Hamill.
According to Hamill, “I was extremely scared [by the prospect of the sequels].” The chance of twice capturing lightning in a bottle seemed absurdly remote, so I reasoned, “Why tamper with it?”
It is difficult to miss Hamill’s message. The original Star Wars movies were too haphazard in many aspects for them to be faithfully recreated. Disney’s sequel trilogy and George Lucas’ prequel trilogy both received harsh criticism. Furthermore, a large portion of the most widely read Star Wars fiction defies the rules established by the first three films on purpose.
The question of whether Harrison Ford’s or Star Wars’ success was random or not is mostly subjective. One might argue that Ford and Lucasfilms both put a lot of effort into making their presences known in the film business. Ascribing everything to chance undervalues their efforts. Ford’s tale, however, shows that chance will always play a part. The extent to which it affects events depends on the viewpoint.
Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill were concerned that they were too old to play older characters in the Star Wars sequels. Hamill felt Harrison Ford was “too old, too rich, and too cranky” to accept the role of Han Solo. Ford was 35 years old when he played Han Solo, while his co-stars were 26 and 21 years old. Ford started acting when he was 21 but his career never really took off until he played Han Solo in the movie American Graffiti. The success of Star Wars seemed to happen at random as all the pieces had to fall into place for it to succeed.