Han Solo returns in a big way in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and so does Harrison Ford. Their dual premiere at the end of the film's teaser trailer offered the first official update on the iconic "Star Wars" character since "Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi" hit theaters 32 years prior.

While promoting the film at Disney's D23 Expo, Abrams opens up to Zap2it and a small group of journalists about how he made sure returning to the character of Han Solo worked for Ford.

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"I think it was important that he feel that Han Solo was relevant to him, meaning that he must have lived the years in between 'Return of the Jedi' and this story," Abrams says. "That needed to be reflected in who he was. That's not to say he's not going to still be Harrison playing Han Solo."

Abrams has high praise for his actor, admitting that even he was unsure what to expect when Ford arrived on set.

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"It was also very important to me that you feel it was Han Solo, not just Harrison Ford acting in a movie," Abrams says. "He is so good, but Han Solo is a very specific thing, and to be honest with you, I was excited to see what that would look like, because I was assuming that it would be a certain thing, but who knows? You get to the set, and it's going to be what it's going to be. He showed up, and I will tell you that Han Solo is back."

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz