Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 24 May 2015

Lucas: Ford asked for screen death

George Lucas created the Star Wars franchise
George Lucas created the Star Wars franchise

George Lucas has revealed that Harrison Ford pleaded to be killed off in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back.

The 70-year-old, who created Star Wars, admitted the actor kept asking for his character Han Solo to die after he was frozen and sealed in carbonite and delivered to Jabba the Hutt.

"Harrison kept yelling through the whole thing, 'Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!'," he told Empire.

"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'," he added.

The fifth instalment in the franchise saw one of film's biggest shockers, when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) found out that villain Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) was his father.

"It was pretty remarkable we pulled it off then. It was without the internet but it was still extremely intense in terms of the fans," the filmmaker said.

"Literally, I didn't tell anybody. Even the producer didn't know. It wasn't until James Earl Jones came on during the finishing of the movie that it was revealed... We expected it to leak then but it didn't. Personally, I think it was one of the last real reveals. Now you can't do it."

George, who sold his Lucasfilm company to Disney, is proud of the legacy he has left with the Star Wars films.

"I love the Star Wars films. I'm glad I made them. They were designed to inspire kids to think outside the box," he said.

"They did make a difference which I see every day. I see it in everything from astronauts to filmmakers. It's interesting the films are still being talked about."

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