SAN DIEGO — He wouldn’t confirm nor deny the return of Han Solo, nor would he submit to our request for a Chewbacca impression, but Harrison Ford was game to discuss what makes J.J. Abrams the right guy to assume the “Star Wars” mantle.
” ‘You talkin’ to me?’ ” Ford quipped during MTV’s live stream from San Diego Comic-Con, adopting a mild impression of Robert De Niro’s famous “Taxi Driver” line when confronted with questions about his iconic galactic smuggler.
Undeterred by Ford’s impersonation, MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz pressed on. “I’m not prepared at this time to have an in-depth conversation about — what did you call it again? — ‘Star Wars,’ ” he said slyly. “I can’t talk about it.”
Despite descending upon San Diego to talk about “Ender’s Game,” the 70-year-old actor did finally give in a little bit. When pressed to discuss some aspect of the forthcoming “Star Wars Episode VII,” he lavished praise upon Abrams, the man entrusted by Disney (the proud new owners of LucasFilm) to pick up where 1983′s “Return of the Jedi” left off.
“I think he’s a great storyteller,” he said. “He’s developed an enormous filmmaking skill. I think it’s a daunting project and he’s the kind of guy that can take on huge challenges and deliver… He’s an awful nice guy.”
Abrams (under his Bad Robot Productions banner) was a producer on Ford’s 2010 comedy, “Morning Glory.” But the pair first crossed paths much earlier. Abrams wrote “Regarding Henry,” which came out in 1991 when he was just 25.
“He was obscenely young [when I first worked with him],” Ford recalled. “He’s a wonderful guy. I’m really happy that he’s involved in the movie, even if I’m… not.” Of course, it’s all but assured at this point that Ford will return as Solo.
MTV has asked multiple stars to show off their take on a “pissed off Chewbacca” during the live stream, but none of them of course have had the firsthand experience around the most beloved of all Wookies as Ford. But he refused to comply. “No. I’m not gonna do that,” noting that there isn’t much of an impression to do, anyway. “He kind of just sulks.”
There’s no shortage of “Star Wars” fans at Comic-Con, of course. Along with this year’s appearance, Ford was here in 2011 promoting “Cowboys & Aliens.” He got philosophical about the devotees who descend on the city each year to obsess over their favorite properties and get their cosplay on in beautifully creative ways.
“It’s just wonderfully weird,” Ford observed. “I’m grateful that there’s a place for all of these people to go… That’s not terribly close to my house. And besides that, this is where you begin to build the fever for the kind of project that we’re here with.”