Harrison Ford on His Star Wars Return: "I Have No Idea What a Force Ghost Is, and I Don't Care"

The only better response to this question would’ve been “that’s not how the Force works!”
The only better response to this question would’ve been “that’s not how the Force works!”
Image: Lucasfilm

May we all have the same attitude to nonsense fandom debates as Harrison Ford does, frankly.


One of the best kept secrets about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the surprise return of another familiar face (among the, err, many returning familiar faces in this nostalgia-kitchen-sink of a movie) in Han Solo. After his fateful duel with Rey atop the wave-lashed ruins of the Death Star II on Kef Bir—Kylo Ren is confronted by a vision of his deceased father, as he wavers back towards the light side of the Force and begins his path to redemption. The moment, like so much of Rise, however, has been almost endlessly debated over by fans in the months since release: How did Han come back?

For Harrison Ford, there were similar questions when he was first approached. “When JJ [Abrams] asked me to do it, I said, ‘Are you kidding? I’m dead!’” Ford recalled in a new interview with USA Today. “He said, ‘Sorta dead. You can do this.’ He hadn’t written anything at that time. But he said, ‘This is going to be great.’ So I said okay. If JJ asked you do something, you’d probably do it too. He’s a very persuasive guy.”

Ford might have been happy to simply show up, but his return to the galaxy far, far away has seen fans turn to rigorous discussion of the mechanics of it all. Because, well, that’s what Star Wars nerds do. Surprisingly however, it’s been a debate over whether or not Han’s return was either as a figment of Ben’s imagination, or—admittedly as dead Star Wars characters are wont to do—as a Force Ghost. Which is weird, considering, y’know...Han wasn’t Force sensitive.

There’s so much we don’t actually know about the mechanics of space wizard spectral forms—because heavens forbid we know every iota of information about this fantasy world—Star Wars canon does tell us that, at the very least, not only is becoming a spirit within the Force extremely hard to do, it’s a technique that requires a mastery and embrace of the Light Side, specifically. Not even the most powerful Sith could become Force Ghosts, which is why people like Palpatine sort ways to extend their natural life, or return through other, more literal means. So the fact we’ve managed to drag this discourse out for nearly two months is pretty phenomenal, even for Star Wars fans. But what’s Ford’s take on it all?


He doesn’t care.

“A Force ghost? I don’t know what a Force ghost is,” Ford said when asked to weigh in. “Don’t tell anyone. I’m not talking loud enough for your recorder. I have no [expletive] idea what a Force ghost is. And I don’t care!”


Which, god, same, Harrison Ford. Honestly, now the real debate should be is which curse Ford used to express his level of not-giving-a-shit-ness. Probably ‘fucking’? God, I hope so.

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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



It was very clearly Ben’s memory and imagination. People are overthinking this.