I was invited by Disney on an all-expense paid trip to cover the HanSoloEvent. All opinions are my own.
It was truly incredible to have the chance to sit down with Director Ron Howard! He was so nice in person, which is really cool considering what a big deal he is! I loved getting to hear about his experience directing SOLO so I wanted to share that with you…
What has been the most daunting or scary part of taking on Star Wars?
Ron: 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 judgment surrounding him and his performance. But he’s such a cool customer. And he wore the responsibility very well.
Did you have to walk a fine line of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and in creating a new younger version with Alden?
Ron: 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.
Were there any barriers that came along the way while filming?
Ron: Well, there are challenges. What I did discover is that the reason that these Star Wars movies kinda 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, this galaxy.
You’ve got this blend of sort of humanity and humor and drama and then these deeper bigger themes that really relate classic themes. And they’re all sort of, it’s like playing three-dimensional chess to direct these scenes. And I think that when the harmonics are right, it creates this sort of range of ways that the movies entertain you.
But it’s a real challenge. So I recognized and respected the movies that came before me all the more when I realized kinda how complicated it was. So it was a challenge but it was fun. You know, and fun to do. And 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.
What do you think that little Opie Taylor would think of the Millennium Falcon landing in Mayberry?
Ron: Well, I think he’d probably say, “gee Pa, can I take a ride?”
Your daughter has Jurassic World coming out soon, how do you feel about having competing movies?
Ron: Well, it’s hard not to root for your daughter. And I think, either way, we’re in a very fortunate position. This whole experience of being a part of Star Wars and this summer’s movie lineup was so unexpected. And once we realized that our movies were coming out what? a month apart or something like that?
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. And I love it as a lifestyle, our way of life. 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. And I certainly was much in agreement with that and working for the fans in this particular instance.
When Han Solo dies in THE FORCE AWAKENS, did that affect how you directed this film?
Ron: Well, 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, you know? 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?
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. This is a story about young people who are really on a quest for their freedom. And they’re struggling for that 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 might have made him tick, what makes him tick?
He was so kind to take a group photo with us.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters May 25th!
Watch the trailer…
Also, check out…
Like STAR WARS on Facebook
Follow STAR WARS on Twitter
Follow STAR WARS on Instagram
Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY website
“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.”-Lucasfilm