A long time ago (actually, September 2010) in a galaxy far, far away (New York City), The Times' Dave Itzkoff stumbled across Bobbie Wygant's chat with a young Harrison Ford promoting the biggest indie release of 1977, Star Wars. As it turned out, it was just one entry among many in The Bobbie Wygant Archives curated by Fort Worth filmmaker Erik Clapp, who once served as Wygant's assistant producer at KXAS-Channel 5 and spent forever digitizing the critic's chats with legends and comers and in-betweeners.
With the force awakening this week, it seemed like a good time to revisit that unedited flashback -- if only for the clothes. And for Ford's low-key enthusiasm for the fledgling franchise grounded in sci-fi roots he never dug: "It's a fantasy. It's not science fiction so much as it's space fantasy ... and it's finally about people, not finally about science, so the energy of the movie goes towards exploring these human relationships, and I think that's what makes it so accessible to people."
Wygant also asks Ford, then a relatively unknown contract player with a laundry list of TV credits, about his introduction to fame.
"Well, everyone has respect for success, and this film's certainly a success," says Ford. "It has produced the inevitable change for me, yeah. There are a lot more scripts for me to read, and a lot more people interested in using my services, much to my delight."
Three years later, though, you could already tell Ford was starting to turn into, well, Harrison Ford. Sitting with Anthony Daniels (C-3PO, natch) to talk The Empire Strikes Back, he says, yeah, the success is nice and all, but, look, "The work's the same" and you can't take it "personally." He also notes his filmography in between the first and second films and choosing roles that couldn't have been further from the man who shot first.
Ford cops to "having every actor's natural fear of being identified totally with this one character." He needn't have worried, given the film he had coming out the next year: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Wygant also asks Daniels and Ford if they're signed on for all nine films.
"Our characters more or less conclude their story in the next one," says Ford. Daniels wasn't so sure: "Whether I could play 3P0 at 60 is a question housewives all over America are asking."