De-Aging Harrison Ford
By Guest Columnist Tonilyn Hornung
Can someone please stop Harrison Ford from aging? Can we please freeze him circa 1982 during his “The Empire Strikes Back” and/or “Raiders of the Lost Ark” days? If some sci-fi geek could work out that “Carbonite Freezing” process, I would happily buy him/her a carded AFA 90 “Vinyl Caped Jawa” Action Figure as a thank you (You see, that freezing process would really help me out, and I’d like to “test it on Captain Solo”). The reason I ask is because lately I feel like I’m crushing on my grandpa. It’s making me a little uncomfortable. I want Harrison to continue to kick-ass, and yell things like, “Get off my plane!”, not ask me to sit on his lap and then pull out lint-covered Werther’s Originals Caramels from the pocket of his Member’s Only Jacket and ask me what I learned in school today.
Harrison Ford has always been my guy. My massive, life-long crush began with “The Empire Strikes Back”. As soon as Han looked at Leia in that icy Hoth corridor and said, “You want me to stay because of the way you feel about me,” I wanted to shout at the screen, “YES! I’LL STAY WITH YOU, HAN!! I FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT YOU!!!”. Harrison Ford as Han Solo was dreamy and confident and sarcastic, and I loved him for it. Harrison Ford is completely to blame for turning me into a sci-fi geek. He decided to be in the “Star Wars” Trilogy and “Blade Runner” and then the Indiana Jones series. The only reason I went to see those movies in the first place is because Mr. Ford graced them with his charismatic presence.
When my mom took me to see “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, my heart’s fate was sealed. Indy and Han were both self-assured and handsome, and rugged and handsome, and sarcastic and handsome. I was in love. I can’t remember a movie I didn’t rush out to see because he was in it (OK, “Hollywood Homicide” doesn’t count). My laminated “Freebie List” doesn’t have five different people written on it–it has Harrison Ford written five times. I have stuck with him through movie flops and ear-piercings, and I believed our relationship would stand the test of time. Now, however, I’m questioning things. I see my eye wandering and feel like I’m cheating (Shia is looking pretty darn cute–not to mention some Nathan Fillion). I first noticed it when I went to see “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
I was THRILLED a new Indiana Jones movie was coming out. My husband and I went to the 12 AM showing the night it opened. The credits rolled, the music started, and my sweaty hands held onto the movie-seat armrests in excited anticipation. I was ready–ready to see that stud in the kick-ass brown fedora. I knew he wouldn’t be exactly the same. I mean, I’m not a total spaz permanently stuck on the Forest Moon of Endor. I knew that he would look a little older. It had been 20 years since the last Indy movie, right? But Harrison was still my guy, and I couldn’t wait for that him to whip it out (You know, use his Indy whip. Get your mind outta the gutter).
As I watched the movie I found myself searching for that charismatic bravado that I adored. I caught it in glimpses. I saw it in moments, but it didn’t seem to leap off the screen and into my heart as it once had. My heart began to sink lower and lower until it was on the sticky movie theater floor with the half-eaten popcorn pieces and Milk Duds that had tried to escape their fate. What broke my heart was that he seemed to have lost that youthful magic charisma I had fallen so hard for as a kid. I was not prepared for this more laid-back, slightly bumbling hero. That scoundrel sparkle seemed to have faded. My hero was all of a sudden not my hero. I left the movie no longer an impressionable girl but a wise woman.
Harrison and I are both getting older. There’s no denying that. My childhood hero’s hair is greying, and his face is clearly showing signs of aging. If I close my eyes and just listen to his voice I can still hear a little of that earlier magic, and my heart remembers and begins to flutter. But when I look at Harrison now, I feel old, too. His age reflects mine, and I’m just a little sad. I miss the times we shared. I miss the crush of my youth. I miss my guy.
Even though I may think about it, I will never cheat. I will never let Harrison go, and we both know that. I couldn’t even if I wanted to–my heart would never let me. As Indy once said, “It’s not the years. It’s the mileage.” I’m hoping that Harrison has a few more miles left in him. If I have to watch a new Harrison Ford movie with my eyes shut the entire time, I will. I will be there in the darkened theater waiting for my guy to make my heart flutter again. I love him, and he knows.
And for you Harrison Ford groupies out there (there must be some), I know that the top photo is from “Temple of Doom” and not “Raiders,” but that is one of my FAVORITE photos of him!