Editor’s Note: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The left and entertainment press have had a field day whining about how much more Harrison Ford was paid for his role in The Force Awakens compared to costars and series newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.
“Harrison Ford Was Paid Over 50x More Than ‘Star Wars’ Co-Stars” Variety’s headline blared.
But The Force Awakens was Ford’s fourth film in the series, and the veteran actor is much further along in his career than either Ridley or Boyega. For a more apples to apples comparison, it would make sense to go back to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Guess how much Harrison Ford was paid for his 1977 debut as Han Solo?
Only trivia buffs are likely to know the answer was $10,000, according to UK Movies Group. Even adjusted for inflation, that $10,000 is equivalent to just $39,164.39 in 2015. Boyega and Ridley will make far more for their debuts. Variety said Boyega and Ridley were paid “low-six figure range” without counting “back-end bonuses” if the film does extremely well at the box office. The film make nearly $250 million in its opening weekend (domestically), according to Box Office Mojo.
Finally, as the Variety piece acknowledged, “the No. 1 reason the actor walked away with the most money had to do with the fact that this would be a one-off situation for him.” Han Solo is murdered in the final scenes of The Force Awakens. His costars, however, are looking at the beginning of very promising careers.
Ford’s salary for his second Star Wars movie multiplied by 10 to $100,000, and jumped again to $500,000 for Return of the Jedi. The latest crop of galactic crusaders could see their pay skyrocket with future films too. The next installment, Episode VIII, will begin filming in London in early 2016.