Ehrenreich explained to EW what went down at that lunch meeting:
“He said a great thing when I met him. ‘Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone.’…I wanted to meet him because I just felt generally it wouldn’t be right to do the movie without some kind of contact with him, and I’m really glad I did. He was very, very supportive. And it’s just cool to have lunch with Harrison Ford.”
A lot of people assumed this was all that Ford would contribute to the Solo spin-off and be done with Star Wars for good. But EW reports that he contributed a lot more than that, he also served as a “covert advisor” on the Ron Howard-directed film. EW says Ford didn’t get too involved and kept his distance but that he also contributed “vital insights into the character he has lived with, sometimes uncomfortably, for four decades.” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy revealed she sent Ford a copy of the script and that he approved of it. Kennedy added:
“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed…He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”
Ron Howard also sought out Ford just after he took over the film when original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller parted ways with Lucasfilm. Howard says Ford talked about Han’s perpetual loneliness:
“Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character…He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 25, 2018.