Interview: 'Solo' Director Ron Howard Reveals George Lucas' Influence on the Film
Despite selling Lucasfilm over five years ago, George Lucas remains an important and beloved figure among Star Wars fans.
The creator of the franchise actually got involved with the latest spinoff movie, exploring the younger days of Han Solo. Lucas appeared at the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and director Ron Howard told ComicBook.com he was very supportive of the film. Watch in the video player above!
"He was really supportive of it. He doesn't get down in the weeds on the movies anymore," Howard said. "He did come by and visit the set, which is a pretty rare thing, but he did it as a show of support which was really cool. And he was really complimentary. But he was also really confident when I came in that I would get the feel of it and understand how to maximize the entertainment value of these characters and this world."
Solo: A Star Wars Story was in the works at Lucasfilm since before Disney purchased the company, and it was Lucas himself who brought screenwriter and Star Wars legend Lawrence Kasdan on board.
"George and [Kathleen Kennedy] had decided that, as the company went on without George, and Kathy would run it, that part of what they were going to do was continue the Star Wars movies, and they had an idea for a bunch of 'em," Lawrence told ComicBook.com. "When they called me up there, I said, 'I don't know if I'm up for a fourth Star Wars movie,' and they said, 'Well, what if it was Han?'
"And I said, 'Well, I love Han,' and they sort of hit my button, you know? I was told that I could do anything I wanted with it, and that was kind of irresistible. It took off from there."
Though the movie is packed with references to other events and characters from the franchise, Howard said those references actually came from Lawrence's son and co-writer Jon Kasdan.
"To be honest, I left so much of that to [Solo screenwriters] the Kasdans, strangely not Larry," Howard said. "This is the fourth of his that he's written, he actually doesn't even remember. It's not an age thing. He's focused so much on character and twists and turns. But his son Jon is a complete fanboy and I think most of those references were engineered by Jon Kasdan.
"I would hear them and love them, but I wasn't the one necessarily thinking of them. So I can't claim much authorship there."
Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres May 25th.