Star Wars has been around for so long that some behind-the-scenes stories have taken on a life of their own to become urban legends. It doesn’t matter if the story is real or not, as long as it is something that sounds cool people will repeat it over and over until it becomes fact.
Here we’ll take a look at five of the biggest Star Wars urban legends and try to figure out if they are real or not.
Harrison Ford Wanted Han Solo to Die
Perhaps one of the more famous urban legends that’s been getting a lot of attention now that Episode VII is being filmed is the belief that Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to be killed in Return of the Jedi. The thing is that “Jedi” was the second time Han’s possible death came up and it was for a different reason than what many people generally accept as the “truth”.
The first time Ford wanted to kill Han was actually in The Empire Strikes Back. By the time he second Star Wars movie rolled around, Ford’s star was starting to rise in Hollywood so you could see why he wouldn’t want to be shackled to a kids movie. George Lucas explained the Empire bit a few years ago:
“Harrison kept yelling through the whole thing, ‘Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!’”
“I said, ‘Harrison, I can’t kill you. I need you at the end of the next movie. There’s this love thing going on. But I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll put you in a slab of concrete and ship you off to Mars’.”
So they froze Han in Carbonite at the end of second movie, which then brought up the possibility of a death in Return of the Jedi. This is where the whole thing becomes urban legend. The internet myth says that Ford wanted to kill Han in the movie, but evil George Lucas felt that dead Han toys wouldn’t sell well. That’s not exactly the whole truth about the matter.
Unlike today when studios like Marvel lock actors into long multi-movie contracts, the original Star Wars movies were handled one at a time. By the time filming of Return of the Jedi came around in 1982, Harrison Ford was becoming one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. So the possibility of Han dying in Jedi was really nothing more than a negotiation option. If Lucasfilm couldn’t sign Harrison Ford for the third movie, Han wouldn’t plopped out of the Carbonite dead. But they were able to sign Ford, Han lived, and the rest has become legend.
True or False? This is a gray area as at one point he did want to kill the character, while the legendary “Return of the Jedi” story was something that came out of contract negotiations in the case they couldn’t sign Ford for a third movie.