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The Real Reason Harrison Ford Always Wanted Han Solo To Die

When George Lucas was putting together his little cinematic space adventure, "Star Wars," in 1977, he and his team worked tirelessly to score the perfect set of actors for the gig. Mark Hamill became Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher became Princess Leia, but who would join them as Han Solo? A laundry list of strong acting talents — ranging from Al Pacino to Robert Englund (via How Stuff Works) — could have taken on the role, but none of them went for it. Therefore, the part of the Corellian smuggler went to none other than Harrison Ford.

From 1977 to 1983, Ford brought Han Solo to life in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, cementing himself and the character as pop culture icons. Han quickly became one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise, pulling fans in with his quick quips, rebellious tendencies, and, of course, his sidekick, Chewbacca the Wookiee (Peter Mayhew). The legacy of Han Solo has even endured into the modern-day and gave Ford the chance to return to the role for both 2015's "The Force Awakens" and 2019's "The Rise of Skywalker."

Despite Han's frequent appearances throughout the Skywalker saga, Ford always believed that the character should've died much sooner than he did. Here's why he was so eager to leave the galaxy far, far away behind.

Ford felt Han was destined to make the ultimate sacrifice

Much of the appeal of Han Solo stems from his character arc throughout his first three "Star Wars" appearances. In "A New Hope," he's depicted as a brash, irresponsible criminal with no love for authority or keeping his promises. However, by the end of the film and into "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," he largely leaves his old ways behind, joins the Rebel Alliance, and embraces his love for Princess Leia. To Harrison Ford, those personal bonds should've been Han's undoing, leading to his ultimate demise.

"I think it's a fitting use of the character," Ford told Entertainment Weekly's Tumblr page in 2016 (also via ScreenRant), adding, "His sacrifice for the other characters would lend gravitas and emotional weight." He also notes that he didn't take this stance because he was sick of the part, even though that directly contradicts his previous comments. Nevertheless, he got his wish in "The Force Awakens" when Han's own son, Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), killed him during the Resistance's assault on Starkiller Base.

It goes without saying that Han Solo's death, coupled with the horrified reactions of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Chewbacca, did indeed add some serious emotion to "The Force Awakens." It may have taken a few decades longer than he'd hoped, but Ford finally got to see his vision for Han's death come to life.