It pays to have an ambivalent attitude about a seminal character that made you a major movie star.
Harrison Ford, who has said he felt the Han Solo should have been killed off in Return of The Jedi, and that he wants "nothing to do....in the nicest possible way" with a potential Han Solo backstory spinoff movie — got paid a whopping $25 million flat salary to reprise his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That's in addition to 0.5% of the box office gross, which could mean another $9 million if The Force Awakens hits the high end of its box office projections.
According to the Mail on Sunday's report, Ford's payday is 76 times that of franchise newcomers John Boyega and Daily Ridley's $450,000 salary, and 17 times that of Star Wars veteran Carrie Fisher, who was reportedly paid $1.5 million to appear in The Force Awakens as a grown-up and even more powerful Princess — now General — Leia.
Apparently, Ford only earned $10,000 for George Lucas' original Star Wars film, which made $11 million at the box office when it opened in 1977 and launched a franchise that Lucas would later sell to Disney for over $4 billion. There's no question that Ford was essential to the franchise's spectacular success, and deserved a serious pay raise for The Force Awakens. And of course, Ford had a significant amount of screen time, and since we know almost nothing about the future Star Wars sequels, we don't know the extent of any role he will have again.
I'm sure Ridley and Boyega, both relative unknowns before now, were perfectly happy to be paid almost half a million dollars to star in the biggest movie of the year that has made them overnight superstars. But why was Carrie Fisher paid so little compared to her co-star? At the screening I went to, her first appearance got the most applause from the crowd: More than Ford's, or the droids, or the Millenium Falcon. It just doesn't seem like the saucy Fisher to have accepted such an enormous disparity. But maybe the justification is in a Star Wars secret only she knows.