Once upon a time there was a chance Han Solo wouldn't be returning to the big screen.

George Lucas, the creator of the famed 'Star Wars franchise, recently revealed that Harrison Ford wanted his character to be killed off in 1980's 'Empire Strikes Back.'

The 70 year-old writer recalled Ford asking several times for Han Solo to die during the scene when he was frozen, sealed in carbonite and delivered to Jabba the Hutt, in the 5th instalment.

"Harrison kept yelling through the whole thing, 'Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!'," Lucas told Empire, via Press Association.

"I said, 'Harrison, I can't kill you. I need you at the end of the next movie," he added. "There's this love thing going on. But I'll do the next best thing. I'll put you in a slab of concrete and ship you off to Mars'."

The popular 5th episode saw the iconic moment when Dark Vader, the main antagonist, revealed to Luke Skywalker that he was his father. The sci-fi epic was also recently branded 'the greatest movie of all time', as voted for by film fans.

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Upon receiving the honour, Lucas said it was a "privilege," to be voted No.1, adding, "It's soulful, but in a different way from Episode IV. It's a little bit more adult." The director admitted that he "never really planned" Star Wars to be three separate films but when it became so, "it had an interesting effect of each film having its own personality, caused by the plot."

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Lucas has sold his Lucasfilm company to Disney, and a J.J. Abrams-directed 7th episode is currently being filmed, with original cast members Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher, as well as Harrison, returning to their roles.

Harrison Ford
Ford will return as Han Solo for Star Wars: Episode VII'