“It was such a contest between George and I”: George Lucas Found One Legendary Star Wars Harrison Ford-Carrie Fisher Scene Terribly Inappropriate

It took a test screening to get George Lucas on board with the dialogue change.

Harrison Ford Carrie Fisher Star Wars
Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Chin tin tin

SUMMARY

  • Harrison Ford suggested the iconic response of Han Solo to Princess Leia's "I love you".
  • But George Lucas wasn't initially sold on the dialogue change from the original script.
  • Lucas would eventually come around after the first test screening.
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In the initial draft of The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo’s response to Leia’s “I love you” was an awkward “Just remember that, ’cause I’ll be back”. Upon filming the line, director Irvin Kershner realized there was something wrong with the Solo’s response, as it undermined the suspense about whether he’d survive the carbonate chamber or not.

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This prompted them to test various alternatives but it was the “I Know“, suggested by Harrison Ford, which clicked with both Kershner and later the fans. However, George Lucas was initially against this change, and it wasn’t until a test screening that Lucas would eventually give in.

George Lucas Feared Han Solo’s “I Know” Would Get a Bad Laugh From Fans

Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in The Empire Strikes Back
A still from The Empire Strikes Back |  20th Century Studios

Harrison Ford‘s two-word response to Carrie Fisher’s “I Love You” in The Empire Strikes Back perfectly sums up the rebellious nature of his character, and remains an iconic moment from the film. However, when George Lucas was initially notified about this change from the original script, the Star Wars creator thought it would garner a bad laugh from the audience.

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But after some convincing, Lucas decided to hold two test screenings for the film, with one involving the “I know” response. While the first screening did garner a laugh from fans, it was because the dialogue perfectly encapsulated the witty nature of the character.

A still from The Empire Strikes Back
Harrison Ford | The Empire Strikes Back (via 20th Century Studios)

He told the LA Times

It was such a contest between George and I about whether that was appropriate or whether the audience would enjoy that line or not, to the point where he made me go to a test screening to sit next to him to prove it was going to get a bad laugh. And it didn’t. It got a good laugh. So it stayed in.

Moreover, the moment came full circle in Return of the Jedi, as this time around, it’s Fisher’s Princess Leia, who replies “I know” to Solo’s “I love you”.

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Harrison Ford Explained Why He Doesn’t Have a Favorite Star Wars Film

Empire Strikes back
A still from The Empire Strikes Back |  20th Century Studios

When it comes to the fans’ favorite Star Wars flick, the answers can range from the original trilogy’s The Empire Strikes Back to even the prequels’ Revenge of the Sith. But when Harrison Ford was asked about his favorite in the franchise, the Raiders of the Lost Ark star clarified that he doesn’t have a favorite. To him, each entry is like a brick, which adds together to tell the whole story.

I don’t really have a favorite. It’s just brick on a brick to build the story. It’s not about the party. It’s about what you’re celebrating.

This isn’t the first time Ford’s suggestion improved a film. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the actor pushed the idea of the iconic gun vs sword scene instead of engaging in a traditional fight.

The Empire Strikes Back is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1585

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.