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Every Harrison Ford Sci-Fi Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

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  • Posted on 06th Aug, 2022 13:15 PM
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Harrison Ford has starred in some of the most important sci-fi Hollywood films. Here's every Harrison Ford sci-fi movie ranked from worst to best.

Sci-fi movies represent a significant part of Harrison Ford’s career. While Harrison Ford established himself as one of the most successful actors of his generation through memorable roles in all different genres, the actor’s journey in Hollywood is tied with sci-fi cinema. Blade Runner and the Star Wars franchise are obvious examples of Harrison Ford sci-fi movies, but there are also a couple of other films in the genre in which the actor has worked.

Star Wars' Han Solo is a big enough character to define an actor’s entire career. However, for Harrison Ford, the instant classic Star Wars character was only the first in a series of iconic movie roles. Harrison Ford would work with George Lucas again in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which would be followed by Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner. This highlights the incredible extant of Harrison Ford sci-fi movies over the years.

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Related: Is Indiana Jones 5 Going To Be Harrison Ford's Last Movie?

Not many actors can say they have played two or more iconic sci-fi characters. Harrison Ford, on the other hand, gave life to Han Solo, Deckard, and to Indiana Jones, the last of which can be considered a sci-fi-adjacent character at least in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Given the sheer extent of his sci-fi CV, ranking Harrison Ford's achievements isn't an easy task. Here’s every Harrison Ford sci-fi movie ranked from worst to best.

Cowboys & Aliens

It is difficult to say whether the Cowboys & Aliens humor was meant to be part of the film or if it was just a consequence of how the script turned out. Either way, Cowboys & Aliens fails in pretty much everything that it tries to do. Despite the stellar cast, which besides Harrison Ford includes Paul Dano, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and Sam Rockwell, the Jon Favreau film doesn’t land well either as a Western or as a sci-fi. Compared to other Harrison Ford movies, Cowboys & Aliens is the worst in the sci-fi category.

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Ender's Game

Ender’s Game had a considerable budget, an interesting premise, and a solid cast that included names like Ben Kinglsey, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, and Asa Butterfield. Still, the movie often feels like a dull and generic sci-fi story, with nothing particularly interesting apart from the visuals and the action sequences. This lack of something different among all the sci-fi tropes was reflected in the Ender’s Game’s box office. The movie made $125.5 million on a $110 million budget.

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones franchise largely does not qualify as sci-fi, except for Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Surprisingly or not, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull introduced aliens to the Indiana Jones story – a decision that remains controversial to this day. Unfortunately, the controversial aliens' plot in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not the only flaw of the movie, which is regarded by many as the worst entry in the Indiana Jones franchise. Still, it is an Indiana Jones film, for better and worse, and it is always enjoyable to see Harrison Ford back in the iconic Indy role.

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Related: Harrison Ford Is Right: Indiana Jones Can't Be Recast (But Will It Happen?)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Harrison Ford appears in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in a cameo capacity. The actor returned to play Han Solo for a brief yet moving scene between Han and his son, Ben Solo, in a moment that cemented Kylo Ren’s redemption. Overall, The Rise of Skywalker felt like it was trying to course-correct from Star Wars: The Last Jedi while also trying to wrap up a nine-movie saga, and the result was disappointing. Moments like Palpatine’s return, which could have been big, did not quite work. For a movie so crucial to Star Wars' Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker could have been a much better product.

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Return of the Jedi

Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die in The Empire Strikes Back as a way to conclude the character’s hero-journey, but that did not happen. Han Solo returned in Return of the Jedi, a movie that can be perceived in two parts. The first one is the Han Solo rescue mission on Jabba’s Palace in Tatooine, and the second one is the main storyline of the Rebel Alliance attacking the Empire's second Death Star. The abrupt change in the story after the first act is just one of many Return of the Jedi problems, but the movie still succeeded in telling a satisfactory conclusion to  Star Wars’ original trilogy. Return of the Jedi has some of the best Han Solo moments in the franchise, and it ends with an emotional, high-stakes lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

While many assumed that Harrison Ford would never play Han Solo again after the original trilogy, the actor returned as one of the main characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With Luke missing and Leia serving as a general for the Resistance, it was up for Harrison Ford’s Han Solo to act as the mentor for a new generation of heroes, that is, Rey and Finn. Despite being an almost exact retelling of A New Hope, The Force Awakens succeeded in its mission of recapturing the magic of the original Star Wars movies at a time when the Star Wars prequels were still not well regarded by a significant portion of the audience. In addition, Harrison Ford gives in The Force Awakens what is perhaps his best performance as Han Solo. The Force Awakens may not be as good as A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back, but it is superior to Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker when it comes to Harrison Ford Star Wars movies.

Blade Runner 2049

After playing Han Solo in The Force Awakens, Harrison Ford revisited another iconic character – Blade Runner’s Deckard. Harrison Ford starred in Blade Runner 2049, the Denis Villeneuve sequel to the Ridley Scott classic Blade Runner. In terms of visuals and cinematic experience, there is really nothing but positive things to be said about Blade Runner 2049. The collaboration between Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins resulted in one of the best-looking blockbuster movies of the decade, which is on par with how visually remarkable the first Blade Runner was. Harrison Ford also gives an incredible performance, exploring a different, more seasoned side of Deckard similar to what he had done with Han Solo in The Force Awakens. That said, Blade Runner 2049 is not as good as Blade Runner, and it sometimes feels like too big of a movie for a rather simple story.

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Related: Why Harrison Ford Changed His Mind About Blade Runner

A New Hope

A New Hope, the original Star Wars, is not just a landmark for Harrison Ford's career but for the sci-fi genre as a whole. George Lucas’ space opera borrows from a lot of the filmmakers' influences but delivers something that audiences had never seen in a movie of that scale at that time. The groundbreaking visuals and special effects, far before CGI techniques were a thing, set George Lucas' Star Wars apart from other works in the genre, and it started an entire generation of sci-fi-fantasy works in pop culture. The space setting and the ships were a selling point, but the true highlight of A New Hope was its characters. Audiences instantly connected with Luke, Leia, and Han Solo thanks to the works of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.

Blade Runner

Whichever Blade Runner version someone considers to be the best one, the truth is that the Ridley Scot adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick novel is a landmark for the sci-fi genre that still inspires filmmakers to this day. The cyberpunk atmosphere, something so utilized in works of fiction, was never the same after Blade Runner, but the movie did not rely on visuals only. Blade Runner's Deckard story and the themes of what it means to be alive made for a beautiful, emotional tale. The performances were all remarkable, with a special mention to Rutger Hauer as the replicant Roy Batty. After charming audiences with Han Solo in Star Wars, Harrison Ford proved in Blade Runner that he and sci-fi were a perfect match.

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The Empire Strikes Back

Between the surprising hit Star Wars and the not-so-special conclusion Return of the Jedi, Harrison Ford starred in one of the best sequels of all time, The Empire Strikes Back. The world and the characters from the first Star Wars were back, but now in a much bigger and bolder story. New characters like Yoda, Emperor Palpatine, and Boba Fett were brought into the mix, and George Lucas’ team had now much more to work with compared with the first Star Wars. Not only that, but The Empire Strikes Back’s “I am your father” twist redefined the newly born franchise and it is remembered to this day as one of the most memorable plot twists in movie history. Harrison Ford’s Han Solo did not die in The Empire Strikes Back as the actor wanted, which, in hindsight, was for the better.

Next: What If Han Solo Had Died In The Original Star Wars Trilogy

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