As Star Wars fans, we were absolutely heartbroken when Han Solo died in The Force Awakens. We’ve grown up with Harrison Ford‘s portrayal of one of cinema’s most iconic heroes, so it was absolutely brutal to see him cut down by the lightsaber of his wayward son Kylo Ren.
It turns out the only person more affected by the scene than Star Wars fans was Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver. And to be fair, he was on set that day as a key member of the Star Wars cast, so he can justify being pretty shaken by the whole thing. But when you’re playing one of the most unpredictable Star Wars villains, you have to keep your own fear to a minimum.
Speaking on the behind the scenes documentary The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, Driver explained why he was so profoundly affected by killing off a beloved Star Wars character. “It was the scene that, I think, terrified me the most,” he said.
“I wanted to avoid that scene as much as possible, and then I was also very excited to do it. But to go to that place, what it brought up in myself, was a lot,” he added. “You have all these things that are going on in your head, but that really goes away when you’re staring across from that other person.”
Famously, Ford lobbied hard for Han Solo to die in the original trilogy, which would certainly have made the best movies in the franchise a lot more heart-breaking. But the scruffy-looking nerf-herder finally got his wish in The Force Awakens, and it was a devastating moment befitting his legendary status.
Driver has taken on some huge new movies since his Star Wars role, but there’s no denying the fact that it was his biggest gig to date. Ford played a crucial role in calming the nerves of his on-screen son, for which Driver is very grateful indeed.
“I remember a specific time walking on set with Harrison and him saying, you know: ‘Look what we get to do’. And for me that was like an amazing moment because he’s someone who’s accomplished so much. He’s just as in awe at the process and feels so lucky to be involved in it. It’s a very inspiring thing.”
As a young actor on the set of a massive blockbuster, words of wisdom from one of the best actors on the planet are worth their weight in gold. We think Driver nailed it, turning Ren into a nuanced bad guy who was more like a petulant child trying to rebel than an evil mastermind. It turns out that Ford helped him build the confidence he needed.
Of course, there are plenty of new Star Wars movies to look forward to, as well as all of the Star Wars series that are new on Disney Plus. We’re especially looking forward to the Daisy Ridley-starring film, as we’ve always thought that Rey deserves a new Star Wars movie of her own.