When “Star Wars” came around, Harrison Ford had already worked with George Lucas on “American Graffiti.” It’s a good thing he knew the director because he was only getting $2,000 a week “in wages and expenses” for the role of Han Solo, according to the Empire interview. Ford wasn’t a fresh young actor like co-stars Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher. He was 35 at the time, and “had some degree of maturity and some degree of experience, yet physically I still looked young. That had been an impediment early on in my career, but then it turned out to be an advantage,” he explained. Considering how good he still looks in 2023 playing Jacob Dutton in the TV series “1923,” it’s still working for him.
Though he joked about that first film being “a long time ago and far, far away,” it still looms large. Ford believed in the film, particularly its mythological elements. He told Empire:
“I was one of the few people who thought it was going to work, and I hadn’t even seen any special effects. I just thought George [Lucas] had tapped into something primordial, some myth that I recognized the power of. The wise old warrior played by Alec Guinness, the callow prince played by Mark Hamill, the princess played by Carrie Fisher — and I knew that I was the rapscallion of the universe.
“And I thought it was funny. I always thought ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ were basically comedies. The humor came out of their relationships; it came out of the fact that we were basically types.”