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SYFY WIRE Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

WIRE Buzz: Harrison Ford weighs in on Force ghosts; Joe Dante talks Gremlins prequel; more

By Matthew Jackson

Harrison Ford was happy to be a part of one last return to the Star Wars franchise. Just don't ask him to explain exactly what was happening. 

Ford is making the rounds right now to promote his new Disney-produced adaptation of Call of the Wild, but of course some interviewers can't help but ask him about his surprise cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which he appeared as Han Solo one more time during Ben Solo's emotional turn back to the light. Speaking to USA Today about the cameo, Ford simply noted that Rise of Skywalker director and co-writer J.J. Abrams is good at convincing him. 

"When JJ asked me to do it, I said, 'Are you kidding? I’m dead!' " Ford said. "He said, 'Sorta dead. You can do this.' He hadn’t written anything at that time. But he said, 'This is going to be great.' So I said okay. If JJ asked you do something, you’d probably do it too. He’s a very persuasive guy."

Ford also commented, in a rather colorful way, on exactly what's going on in the scene. Han is dead, of course, but exactly how did he manage to come back? Ben calls the vision of his father "just a memory," but how did that manage to manifest so clearly? As far as we know, he's not a Force user in any way, so is it even possible for him to be a Force ghost?

If you ask Ford, he's simply not interested in digging into that aspect of the franchise lore.

"A Force ghost? I don’t know what a Force ghost is," Ford said before continuing in a whisper.

"Don’t tell anyone," he continued. "I’m not talking loud enough for your recorder. I have no (expletive) idea what a Force ghost is. And I don’t care!"

Harrison Ford: Shrugging off Star Wars lore whenever it suits him since 1977. 

We've known for a while now that the Gremlins franchise is set to get some new life on the small screen in the form of an animated prequel series at HBO Max. Titled Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, the series will head back to the 1920s and follow a young Mr. Wing as he first learns what Mogwai are and how to care for them. It's an exciting way to revitalize the series, and it turns out it'll have a little help from one of the franchise's original creators, Joe Dante.

Speaking to Daily Dead to promote his film Camp Cold Brook, Dante was asked about the Gremlins prequel and noted that he's "consulting" on the project, while also noting that it's set to bring a scale to the franchise that the live-action films never could. 

"It's set in China in the ’20s, and it's animated and it's very big in the sense that if you tried to shoot it as a theatrical film, it would be outrageously expensive," Dante said. "But in animation, you kind of get away with almost anything you can think of. And it's probably not going to be done until 2021 or maybe the end of 2020."

Just how outrageous will Secrets of the Mogwai be? Hopefully we'll find out soon. 

After a pair of Guardians of the Galaxy films that dove deep into various aspects of that team's lore, it's clear that James Gunn is a filmmaker willing and eager to do the research behind the characters he's bringing to the big screen. And according to the writer/director, he brought that same eagerness to his next comic book projectThe Suicide Squad

During an Instagram Q&A (screencapped by ComicBook) Monday night, Gunn was asked how much research he typically does for a big comic book movie project, and noted that for The Suicide Squad he went absolutely all-in on the background work. 

"Well before writing Suicide Squad I reread every single Suicide Squad comic," Gunn wrote. 

Like the Guardians of the Galaxy over at Marvel, the Suicide Squad has a layered history featuring more than one incarnation of the team. The first group of characters to bear the name "Suicide Squad" appeared in issues of The Brave and the Bold way back in 1959, and aside from Rick Flag the two teams don't have a lot in common. The Suicide Squad we now know first appeared in 1987 during the Legends storyline, and soon spun off into their own series that has since spawned multiple volumes and multiple incarnations of the team. 

We know from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that Gunn likes weaving the old in with the new when it comes to past incarnations of superteams, so perhaps "every single Suicide Squad comic" means we'll get some cameos from the original team in the new film. Even if we don't, though, it's clear that Gunn did his homework. 

The Suicide Squad hits theaters August 6, 2021.