Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker concept art

When fans went in to see ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ they were treated to a cameo that took everyone by surprise. It was a character you wouldn’t have expected to return and did so in a fun way that fits with the narrative. Thankfully, it didn’t feel shoehorned in, and the inclusion was explained in the very dialogue of their return.

As to why they came back? Co-writers J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio were thrilled to finally talk about it as they’ve been keeping it under wraps for so long in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

Warning: Mmm Yes. Spoilers below, there are.

Everyone knew that Palpatine would be returning for the final installment of the Skywalker Saga, so we’re not talking about him here. We’re also not talking about the return of Lando, as that was a known return for quite some time as well.


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No, it was the amazingly fun role reprisal of Harrison Ford as Han Solo. While that spoiler has probably been revealed to the handful of people who haven’t seen the film, we didn’t want to mention it above.

Ford has notably been campaigning for Solo to end up dead for quite some time, so it was a bit of a surprise to see the actor return to the role once he got his wish. As to how it all went down? Abrams explains:

“Well, I called him, and I said, ‘We want to have a scene in the film between Kylo Ren and his father, would you do it?’ And he said, ‘Okay.'”


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Abrams also went on to share that he told Ford that the role was “not more interesting” which thankfully didn’t deter the actor from appearing:

“We had a meeting and talked about what it would be. Harrison, who is one of the great people ever, and incredibly thoughtful about everything that he does, all he ever wants is to understand the utility of the character. ‘What is my role?’ It was about sitting with him and explaining what our intention was. We talked about it for quite a while, I sent him the pages. He got it, and of course, as you can see, he was wonderful.”

Terrio also weighed in on the return of Ford for this pivotal scene in Kylo Ren returning to being Ben Solo. While it would be easy to think that this could have been Leia further Force projecting in what she thought might sway her son, what played out on screen is what actually happened:

“At least for J.J. and I, we thought that this finally was Ren, after the death of his mother, being able to really ask for forgiveness, to ask his father for forgiveness, and make some kind of peace. He cannot go back and take back what he has done to his father, but as Han says, ‘Your mother’s gone, but what she stood for and what she fought for, that’s not gone,” so he still can make amends in the future.”

Abrams also had a selfish reason to bring Ford back, “I just love having these two men not behaving in a way that you’d necessarily expect to see either of them… And of course having Han get to pay off the “I know” with his son, that was incredibly touching.”

Do you agree that this use of Harrison Ford as Han Solo for one last moment was a fitting way to help Ben Solo find his path back to redemption? Was this a natural use of the character for you, or did you feel it was forced in? In the end, did Ben redeem himself? Share your thoughts in the comments below!