“I can’t believe we managed to keep it a secret considering you landed your plane on I-4,” said Warwick Davis when Harrison Ford unexpectedly joined Mark Hamill and George Lucas on the panel Davis was moderating for the 40th anniversary “Star Wars” Celebration. It was the first Celebration event Ford had ever attended (watch above). Davis was joking about Ford’s last airplane-flying mishap, in which he mistakenly landed on the wrong runway at John Wayne Airport in California in February. “Yeah, but it was a good landing,” Ford quipped back.
Discussing “Star Wars,” Ford joked, “Oh it’s made no difference in my life whatsoever.” But then he got serious, explaining, “It was the beginning of an incredible ride.” He reminisced about how Lucas cast Ford in his 1973 film “American Graffiti.” Ford went back to carpentry after that until he was tapped to play his career-defining role as Han Solo in “Star Wars.” “I was working, making a living,” said Ford about his tradesman work. “And happily I still am — thank you very much,” he said to Lucas. “And thank you very much,” he said to the fans in attendance.
Ford played rogue pilot and smuggler Han Solo in the original “Star Wars” trilogy from 1977 to 1983. Then he reprised the role in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), in which Han was tragically killed by his son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). A new standalone Han Solo film is currently in the works, but not with Ford. The prequel, which takes place before the events of the original “Star Wars,” stars Alden Ehrenreich in the leading role.
Watch the entire hour-long “Star Wars” panel above. Or skip straight to Harrison Ford’s surprise appearance starting at the 50:40 mark.