When "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens in December, it will have been more than 32 years since Harrison Ford last donned the black vest as Han Solo in "Return of the Jedi." That's a long retirement for any character, which is why fans were both surprised and excited to hear that the original cast would be returning for J.J. Abrams' newest addition to the series.

In fact, even Abrams himself was a bit surprised.

In a recent interview with the Seattle Times, Abrams confessed to being unsure about whether or not Ford could still play the galactic smuggler after three-plus decades away from the character.

"What was incredible from my point of view was how apparently easily they flipped back into these role," Abrams said. "I knew for a fact, for example, that Harrison Ford was going to be in this movie, but I couldn't be certain that Han Solo would be. Meaning, I hadn't seen Han Solo return after nearly 40 years, either. And it wasn't until we got on set that I got my answer. It was a remarkable thing to see how effortlessly Harrison Ford became Han Solo again."

Fans have been treated to just a single shot of Ford as Solo in "The Force Awakens" but, boy, what a shot. Ford's one line ("Chewie...we're home") in the second teaser trailer was enough to send the Internet into a Force-fueled frenzy. It may only be three little words, but it was enough to tap into the wells of nostalgia fans have while painting a picture of the new trilogy.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will hit theaters on Dec. 18 and industry insiders are already expecting record breaking box office and merchandise sales.