SOLO: A Star Wars Story is due to hit theaters this week, and many are anticipating the film, thanks to director Ron Howard. An icon of his own, Ron Howard took on the role of director, and fans knew this would change the game of SOLO: A Star Wars Story. We were lucky enough to have an exclusive interview with Director Ron Howard, and learn more about his process to bring the story of Han Solo to life.
A Legacy Taking On A Legacy
What does it feel like to take on a saga that is loved all over the world, when you’re a director that is admired all over the world? Ron shared with us what it really felt like to take on a Star Wars project, and it didn’t have anything to do with him. His passion to get it right was due to the cast, especially Alden.
“I think that just the responsibility of the cast, especially, Alden Ehrenreich. It’s really such a daunting challenge. I knew that there would be a lot of judgement surrounding him and his performance. But he’s such a cool customer. And he wore the responsibility very well. I know it was something that really meant a lot to him.”
The Challenges Of Directing A Star Wars Film
Ron is obviously well established as a director, but he admits directing a Star Wars film was a challenge, mostly because he’s always been a fan.
“What I did discover is that the reason these Star Wars movies resonate with us, and we see them more than once, often, is because they entertain you in so many different ways. And I didn’t realize that as a fan. But when I was directing the scenes, I realized that’s a real challenge. You’ve got action elements. You’ve got sci-fi elements that are very particular to this galaxy.
You’ve got this blend of humanity, humor, and drama; and then these deeper bigger themes that really relate classic themes. It’s like playing three dimensional chess to direct these scenes. And I think that when the harmonics are right, it creates this range of ways that the movies entertain you.”
Recognizing The Directors Before Him
With SOLO: A Star Wars Story issuing a welcomed directorial challenge, Ron shares that the challenge was fun, and THE George Lucas provided some sound advice that Ron used throughout the project.
“It’s a real challenge. So, I recognized and respected the movies that came before me all the more when I realized how complicated it was. So it was a challenge, but it was fun. And fun to do. George Lucas had said to me, ‘just trust your instincts. I think you’re gonna find you’re comfortable in this filmmaking style.’ And, he was right.”
Young Han Solo – A Storyline From Long Ago
One very interesting tidbit Ron shared with us was that a stand-alone Han Solo film has been on the agenda for Lucasfilm for a while, even before the Disney acquisition of the company. Ron says Larry Kasdan has believed in this storyline, and was always a cheerleader for this film idea.
“This story was hatched before Disney acquired Lucasfilm, and came up with this business plan to do more Star Wars movies.
It was a conversation that Kathy Kennedy and George Lucas had with Larry Kasdan, basically picking his brain and saying ‘what, beyond the saga movies, do you think would be interesting for fans and creatively exciting?’ Larry and George just instantly felt and agreed that it was young Han Solo.
So this has been a story that Larry’s been wanting to tell for a while, and the studio wanted to initially commit to the saga movies, which they did. But Larry kept saying, ‘well, I really do believe in young Han Solo.’ So, that’s really how it happened, before there were any directors involved, or anything.”
Whoa. How cool is that? It’s so interesting to know that this year’s blockbuster Star Wars film has been thought of for quite a long time. I wonder what other creative film ideas Lucasfilm has up their sleeve, and if they plan to work with Ron again on a few of those films? Only time will tell.
SOLO: A Star Wars Story hit theaters on May 25th!