It will be a while yet before anyone knows how good Harrison Ford is in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but the movie’s already bringing great things out of him. In a new video promoting the charitable initiative “Star Wars: Force for Change” where he surprises fans with Skype calls, Ford looks more animated than he has in years, maybe even decades. If he had anything like as much fun making the movie as he did promoting it, we could be in for a treat.
Ford’s discomfort with the rituals of publicity — talk shows, interviews, and the like — has become so pronounced that he’s taken to sending it up himself, showing flashes of dry wit under that dyspeptic exterior. (His appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show in a hot dog costume mixed genuine reluctance with a parody of same.) But as he tells “Star Wars” diehards they’re going to the movie’s premiere, he’s actually beaming from ear to ear, at one point hiding behind a cheap cardboard mask of himself as Han Solo before popping out for the big surprise. Ford’s an actor with a movie to sell — and, in this case, a cause to aid as well — so it may be going too far to suggest that he’s finally come around to enjoying being a movie star again. But after years treating the “Star Wars” movies as a millstone around his neck, it’s heartening to see him to so energetically, even joyously, flogging them. It’s good to see this face, or these faces, again.