While promoting his latest movie Ferrari in an interview on CNN’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?, Driver expressed the overwhelming emotions he had on the set of the 2015 Star Wars installment when his character Kylo Ren/Ben Solo impaled his father Han with his lightsaber. When asked if it was “tough” to film the scene, Driver delved into the tone on set.
“I remember shooting that day and it didn’t feel like that at all, obviously,” Driver said. “John Williams wasn’t playing in the background, and it was very emotional, actually, shooting it with Harrison. Harrison was so generous and contemplative. To me, that was a great moment on set, even though it was his death.”
The idea to kill the iconic character in the Star Wars franchise was something that Ford pushed for since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. In reprising the role 32 years after the release of Jedi, Ford was granted his wish as he saw Han’s ultimate sacrifice as the right way to conclude the character’s arc. “I figured that his utility had been exhausted, bled out, and, well, I was willing to die for the cause,” Ford said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2020. “Bring some gravitas, some base.”
Adam Driver’s Star Wars fears
For Driver, playing the villain responsible for Han’s death was not his only hesitation in entering the Star Wars universe. The actor feared a potential fan backlash if The Force Awakens fell short of expectations.
“I took it really seriously and thought about it a lot and was very on the fence,” Driver said. “I was aware it was a great opportunity and I didn’t want to be in it and be bad, a lot of people were going to watch it. I was a fan of those movies.”
Driver’s fears were calmed when The Force Awakens arrived in theaters in December 2015 to glowing reviews and earned over $2 billion worldwide. He reprised Kylo Ren in the subsequent installments Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. The latter movie saw a scene where a ghost projection of Han appeared to Kylo to give him some fatherly advice.