Harrison Ford thinks the key to 'Star Wars' long-standing success is George Lucas' "wonderful imagination".

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

The 73-year-old actor - who reprises his role as Han Solo in the seventh installment of the franchise, 'The Force Awakens' - is "grateful" for the devotion of the series' fans but insists they are not the ones who "made" the saga what it is.

He said "I think 'Star Wars' has lasted so long because of the underlying mythology which came from [creator] George Lucas' wonderful imagination and it gets passed on from generation to generation by families because there's a useful nugget of human truth in it.

"Fans make it their own they don't make it. It all proceeds from the incredible imagination of George Lucas and the craft of directors that have worked on the telling of these stories.

"I'm very grateful that the fans feel a kinship with it and an ownership of it. That does make a big difference."

Though the plot of the new movie has been kept under wraps, Harrison thinks there is a lot for audiences to relate to.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz at the European premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in London's Leicester Square this evening (16.12.15), he said: "There are so many interwoven stories that deal with the mystery of growing up.

"Questions of independence and responsibility and that's all stuff that whether you think about it or not it is a big part of our cultural fabric."

And the veteran actor was delighted to have director J.J. Abrams behind the camera.

He said: "[J.J. added] His own filmmaking skill and his own emotional relationship with the story."

Harrison was joined at the premiere by co-stars including Carrie Fisher - who was accompanied by her dog, Gary - Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong'o, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, as well as robots BB-8, C-3PO and R2D2.