Harrison Ford has demonstrated a love/hate relationship with Star Wars over the years, especially on late night television.
It is May 4, the day the entire world celebrates the Star Wars universe. And even though it helped make him a household name, there is a good chance that Harrison Ford is treating May 4 like any other day.
Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo made the character an icon and fan-favorite. It’s impossible to see any ranking of the greatest Star Wars characters that doesn’t have Solo near the top. Much of that is due to Ford’s talents as an actor as well as his popularity off screen.
Nowhere has that sense of humor and charisma been on display more than on late night television shows. Whether on The Late Show with David Letterman or Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Ford has a long history of memorable appearances.
When Ford reprised the role of Han Solo for 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it kicked off a run of appearances on the current lineup of late night shows. Ford had to balance promoting the movie with the fact he isn’t necessarily a hardcore fan like some of his castmates or the audiences that make the films so successful.
With that in mind, let’s look back at some memorable Star Wars moments from Harrison Ford on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and more. Be sure to let us know which clip is your favorite.
Conan O’Brien was the first in late night to talk episode VII with Ford back in 2013. At the time, it wasn’t confirmed that Ford, Mark Hamil, and Carrie Fisher would be returning for a new trilogy. So O’Brien did what he could to get a little nugget of information from Ford.
Between the yawn, misquoting the opening crawl, and agreeing with Andy Richter that it was “a long, long time ago,” Ford sums up his entire attitude towards Star Wars. It was a sign of things to come as Ford prepared to film The Force Awakens and talk all things Han Solo once again.
Conan O’Brien and company loves giving Star Wars fans a hard time more than anyone else in late night. Who could forget Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s report from the Attack of the Clones premiere?
Ford was more than happy to join in when promoting The Force Awakens with director J.J. Abrams. Jordan Schlansky’s very technical and specific questions about lightsabers sealed the fate of his Millenium Falcon Lego creation.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
It is hard for any guest to match Jimmy Fallon’s excitement on The Tonight Show. It is part of Fallon’s delivery and what makes him such a popular host. So it was no surprise to see him hyping up The Force Awakens amid Star Wars fever.
The problem is that Harrison Ford rarely, if ever, comes anywhere close to excitement when talking about Star Wars. So when Fallon tried to introduce a Star Wars-themed drink to Ford, the results when about how you’d expect.
Ford probably could have used a drink after he was injured on the set of The Force Awakens. The story of how it happened and director J.J. Abrams’ efforts to save him were the highlights of Ford’s interview with Fallon. The actor was able to recreate the accident with a little help from some Star Wars toys.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Harrison Ford has made a number of appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the years. Often Jimmy Kimmel has asked Ford about his career especially the roles of Indiana Jones and Han Solo. So when news first began circulating that Ford may join Episode VII, it was inevitable that it would dominate Ford’s next appearance on the show whether the actor liked it or not.
The feud with Chewbacca that erupted during that bit in 2013 wouldn’t be settled until years later. Ford of course joined The Force Awakens and returned to the late night circuit. When he did, Jimmy Kimmel was ready to help the actor bury the hatchet with his longtime partner in crime.
Dedicated fans of the Star Wars saga know that Ford had his own ideas on how Han Solo’s story should end. If it was up to the actor, his character would not have made it through The Return of the Jedi. But Ford finally got his way with The Force Awakens, something he discussed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after the film had been released.
Harrison Ford’s time as Han Solo on the big screen may be over. However, that doesn’t mean he’s heard the last of Star Wars whether on the red carpet, an interview, or especially on late night television. So don’t be surprised to see this collection of clips get updated sooner than later.