**Warning: contains HUGE spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker**
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams has spoken out about a shock character return during one of the film’s most emotional scenes…
Harrison Ford, aka Han Solo, star of the original Star Wars trilogy, made a surprise reappearance in a scene opposite his character’s son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). In the scene, Han appears as a memory, and he offers comfort to his conflicted son (“Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive”).
While the dialogue drew parallels with the climactic scene in The Force Awakens when Kylo killed Han, in The Rise of Skywalker Kylo is instead inspired to throw his lightsaber into the churning sea and rejoin the light side, becoming Ben Solo again.
Abrams has now spoken out about how he convinced the Indiana Jones star to return once more to the Star Wars set. “We had a meeting and talked about what it would be,” Abrams told Vanity Fair. “Harrison, who is one of the great people ever, and incredibly thoughtful about everything that he does, all he ever wants is to understand the utility of the character. ‘What is my role?’
“It was about sitting with him and explaining what our intention was. We talked about it for quite a while, I sent him the pages. He got it, and of course, as you can see, he was wonderful.”
The director, who previously helmed the current trilogy’s first installment, The Force Awakens, continued: “It was weird to be on the Star Wars set and to share with Harrison the feeling of ‘I never thought I’d be back here doing this’.”
He added: “Of course, his experience was far greater than mine in every way, but it was beautiful having him there with Adam [Driver, who plays Kylo]. The two of them always had a great sort of spark. They somehow gave each other permission, not literally before the scene but just their nature, to be open and be so vulnerable.”
Abram’s co-writer Chris Terrio also revealed that Han reappears only as a memory, rather than a force ghost like Luke Skywalker, explaining that the moment allows Kylo Ren to find some “peace”.
“At least for JJ and I, we thought that this finally was Ren, after the death of his mother, being able to really ask for forgiveness, to ask his father for forgiveness, and make some kind of peace,” Terrio said. “He cannot go back and take back what he has done to his father, but as Han says, ‘Your mother’s gone but what she stood for and what she fought for, that’s not gone,’ so he still can make amends in the future.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas now