Solo: A Star Wars Story Director Ron Howard Reflects on Taking Over Project and Admiring Original Directors

The Star Wars franchise was expanding in a number of exciting ways following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, with one of its first setbacks that surprised fans being the reveal that Solo: A Star Wars Story directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were parting ways with the project, as Ron Howard stepped in to complete the film and helm reshoots. Sadly, this marked only one instance of a Star Wars filmmaker leaving the franchise behind, with figures like Colin Trevorrow, D.B. Weiss, and David Benioff all following suit in subsequent years. Howard recently looked back on the challenging experience and his involvement, while also expressing his admiration for Lord and Miller's talents.

"I understood that this difference had created a schism to the point where they weren't going to be able to go on working together, and that was really unfortunate because I like Phil and Chris, and I also really admire them," Howard expressed to The Hollywood Reporter. "When I looked at the footage and read the script, which I liked, I felt like I understood what it was that the studio and Lucasfilm were looking for in finishing the movie and reshooting some of the movie, and in a few places, I thought of reconceiving a few scenes, which they were open to. I had some really comforting conversations with Phil and Chris, who let me know that they weren't leaving because I was coming in."

In the years since the production of the film, only a handful of various rumors about those creative differences have emerged, largely centering on Lord and Miller mining the comedic vein they had found success with in previous projects and that the studio wanted a more earnest endeavor.

Howard noted that an added bonus of working on Solo was the development of the upcoming Willow series, as he pointed out, "For me, it was an absolute exercise in professionalism and friendship, and it indirectly led to a season of Willow, which we're doing now [with Solo co-writer] Jonathan Kasdan."

The release of Solo also marked an unexpectedly underwhelming response, currently standing as the lowest live-action box-office earner for the franchise. Given that its release was only six months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi and that it was essentially an origin story with lower stakes than the Skywalker Saga, it failed to capture the attention of audiences like other entries in the franchise.

"There's a lot I really love about Solo, and yet it didn't hit the zeitgeist when it came to the market. Damn,"  the filmmaker confessed.

While there are a number of announced Star Wars films on the way, it's currently unknown which will move forward first, especially based on the success of the various live-action Disney+ series the streamer has delivered.

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