Star Wars fans came from galaxies far, far away and descended on Orlando, Fla., Thursday for a celebration of the original film's 40th anniversary and got a surprise they will never forget: Harrison Ford.
The actor, who famously portrayed Han Solo in four of the seven films, made a surprise appearance at the panel, which featured creator George Lucas and stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO).
As Ford took the stage, event moderator Warwick Davis, who appeared as a Ewok in Return of the Jedi and three additional roles in The Phantom Menace, joked, “I can't believe we managed to keep it a secret, considering that you landed your plane on I-4.”
Ford, who found himself under investigation in February after landing on the wrong runway at a California airport and crashed a plane near Santa Monica in 2015, quipped, “Yeah, but it was a good landing!"
Lucas also busted Ford’s chops about his flying skills later in the conversation.
The director was discussing how he casted Ford and recalled: "I said, 'Do you know how to fly?'"
Ford, referenced a line from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, part of another Lucas franchise, as he replied, "I said, 'Fly? Yeah. Land? No.'"
Following the event, Mayhew took a swipe at Ford's skills on Twitter.
Lovely seeing my buddy.. hell of a pilot.. but I'd love to help out a little with those landings. Always available if he needs a copilot.. pic.twitter.com/dBuQEmHbSg— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) April 13, 2017
George Lucas fought back tears as he remembered his friend and the woman who brought his princess to life.
"I said many times now, she really is a modern woman, and she isn’t just a woman where you put guys clothes on her and she becomes a hero," he said. "She was a princess, she was a senator, and she played a part that was very smart."
The actress’ daughter, Billie Lourd, attended the panel dressed as Fisher's iconic character, Princess Leia, and introduced a video montage of her mom in the film.
"My mom, like Leia, wasn’t ever afraid to speak her mind and say things that might have made most people uncomfortable, but not me and not you," Lourd said. "That was why she loved you, because you accepted and embraced all of her. The strong soldier she was and the vulnerable side, who fought her own dark side.”
The montage featured rare and never-before-seen clips of the actress backstage in her role as Leia.
The next Star Wars installment, The Last Jedi, opens in theaters this December.