Director Ron Howard is a Hollywood legend. Getting the chance to sit down and chat with him about Solo: A Star Wars Story was areal honor. Not only is he brilliant but he is super sweet.
Here’s what Director Ron Howard had to say…
The most daunting part in taking on Star Wars
“I think that just the responsibility of the cast, especially, Alden Ehrenreich is really such a daunting challenge. I knew that there would be a lot of judgement surrounding him and his performance.”
Walking a fine line of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and creating a new, younger version with Alden
“It was all about taking inspiration from Harrison. I think Alden thought a little bit about the body language you know and that’s a sort of subtle almost subliminal link you can create for the characters…But you also have Larry Kasdan who, who has written for the iconic Han Solo played by Harrison so many times. That phrasing, those rhythms, it was there for Alden to develop. And so it was kind of not only right for the character but sort of familiar for audiences.”
Fun fact: There are no Arrested Development Easter eggs.
How he became involved in Solo: A Star Wars Story
“It really came, out of a conversation that I was having with Kathy Kennedy. It was just a scheduled breakfast appointment that I had with her…I didn’t know that there was any conflict, any creative differences going on with the project at all. I hadn’t, heard any of those rumors. I guess that they were out there, but I just wasn’t paying attention. She asked if Larry Kasden could come. She didn’t tell me why. And when I got there, John Kasden was there as well. I thought I wonder what they wanna talk about? Some other future Star Wars movie? And about halfway through, it just sort of came out that they were in this crisis with, the young Han Solo movie. He said, would you ever consider coming in and taking over? And I said, it’s very flattering but I can’t imagine that I would. I urged them to reconsider and think about it. And they said, well they had already made their decision. They knew they were gonna make a change.”
Fun fact: He initially didn’t think he would be stepping in as director but his wife told them that if he didn’t, he’d probably regret it and Ron says she was right (as always)
What he thought when he first read the script
“I read the script and I was so compelled by that script. It answered the questions of what a young Han Solo’s life experiences might be that would shape him, form him, push him toward that iconic figure that we would know later. And did it in ways that surprised me. So, it was really satisfying and logical but it also had these twists and turns that were unexpected…”
Fun fact: This story was hatched before Disney acquired Lucas Film and came up with this business plan to do more Star Wars movies.
How Han Solo dying in The Force Awakens affected how he directed this film
“I thought it was very powerful in that movie and it also reflected the kind of complexity, the thematic ideas that I think give the Star Wars movies their lasting value. It’s fun. It’s playful. It’s exciting. But it also has these themes that are complicated and run deep…and in its own playful way, I think Solo asks some of those questions of, what’s it like in those more sort of moral gray areas?
And when your survival is at stake and you’re presented with choices that you might not necessarily be proud of, and it’s not just the Han Solo character. It’s a number of characters. There, this is a story about young people who are really on a quest for their freedom. And they’re struggling for that. And in very difficult oppressive times. And a really challenging corner of the galaxy.
So I think sort of knowing the outcome gives the story of young Han Solo even more power and more weight. And I think in many ways makes you even more curious about what make, what might have made him tick, what makes him tick.”
His daughter’s upcoming movie coming out around the same time
“Well, it’s hard not to root for your daughter. I think, either way, we’re in a very fortunate position…this summer’s movie lineup was so unexpected and once we realized that our movies were coming out a month apart or something like that, it was, I don’t know. It’s kinda like a gift, I suppose. You work at something that you love. I give 110% to everything that I do. Some things click, some things not as much…I love it as a lifestyle, our way of life. And, and I’ve felt very rewarded by this opportunity and I hope fans feel really good about the movie because these movies are made for the fans.
What he thinks that little Opie Taylor would think of the Millennium Falcon landing in Mayberry
“Well, I think he’d probably say, “gee Pa, can I take a ride?”
Want to know more about Solo: A Star Wars Story? Check out my post on the Solo: A Star Wars Story world premiere, my movie review and be sure to check back for my interviews with Alden Ehrenreich (“Han Solo”), Emilia Clarke (“Qi’ra”), Paul Bettany (“Dryden Vos”), Joonas Suotamo (“Chewbacca”), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“L3-37”) and Woody Harrelson (“Tobias Beckett”).
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25th!
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes