One of the biggest surprises in the run up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens was Harrison Ford’s willingness to reprise his role as Han Solo for the first time since Return of the Jedi. Unlike his Star Wars co-stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, Ford appeared to have intentionally distanced himself from the franchise that made him famous.
Now that The Force Awakens is in theaters, it’s widely known that Ford had one of the biggest roles in the film. And apparently, Ford was well compensated for it. A report in The Daily Mail claimed that Ford was paid $25 million, but a follow-up report by Variety said that Ford’s actual paycheck was somewhere between $10 million and $20 million. Either way, that is still several times what Ford’s co-stars made in the movie.
There is an explanation for this pay disparity, but it involves spoilers from The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should stop reading now!
Disney and Lucasfilm reportedly set “legacy pay scales” that gave Fisher and Hamill “salaries in the low-seven-figure range,” which will only get larger as they play bigger roles in the upcoming sequels. John Boyega and Daisy Ridley made surprisingly low rates that are estimated to be somewhere between $100k and $300k each. Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver are said to have fared better with “mid- to high-six figures” because they have more previous credits than Boyega and Ridley. But all four of the new Star Wars headliners are expected to get substantial pay raises for Star Wars: Episode VIII and beyond.
This is your absolute last chance to turn back before a major spoiler. You’ve been warned!
One of the reasons that Ford’s paycheck was so high compared to his co-stars is that he is the only proven box office draw of the cast, and because his Star Wars return may have been a one-time only deal. With the apparent demise of Han Solo, Ford isn’t likely to have a major role in the sequels. However, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has indicated that the entire cast of The Force Awakens will be back for the sequel, including Ford.
Do you want to see Ford reprise his role as Han Solo in flashbacks in the next Star Wars film? Share your thoughts, and check out our favorite moments from Star Wars: The Force Awakens below.