There is no franchise in cinematic history like Star Wars. There is an argument that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now bigger, but no franchise has the nostalgic quality and generational family appeal quite like the galaxy far, far away. Every Star Wars fan has a special memory or experience with the franchise that gives them warm fuzzy feelings and connects them to it in a lasting way. Since today is Star Wars day Ron Howard, director of the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story (which really should have been released today), shared his favorite Star Wars experience. And it's a perfect example of fandom and what the original was like to see for the first time. Take a look:
Well, that's pretty great and hard to top. Not many of us can claim to have been friends with George Lucas and have seen Star Wars on opening weekend. Ron Howard has such a unique relationship to the material as both a fan and a friend and colleague of George Lucas'. Ron Howard heard a very basic premise of the original film from Lucas, and then gathered behind the scenes rumblings before seeing it. Who knows what his expectations must have been going in, or how much the final film exceeded what he had imagined based on Lucas's description. It's hard to argue that seeing Star Wars opening weekend at the Chinese Theater isn't one of the best experiences you could possibly have with the beloved property.
Personally, I love that he and his wife went through the whole fan experience by waiting in line for hours at a time just to see this groundbreaking film; a right of passage that is still practiced by Star Wars fans today at theaters without reserved seating. Then, as he told The Star Wars Show, Howard repeated the entire thing by standing in line to do it again the very same day. It really shows his passion for the property. While being a fan of a franchise does not make you the right person to direct it, it certainly doesn't hurt.
If Star Wars fans want someone who truly appreciates and loves the property and has since the beginning helming Star Wars films, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified than Ron Howard. The Oscar winner brings an understanding to Solo that is undeniable, and he has been saying all the right things in advance of his first foray into the Star Wars universe with Solo. Of course, there is some question as to how much of the film is Howards and how much was the work of his predecessors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Ironically, Ron Howard was asked by Lucas to direct Episode I: The Phantom Menace, but passed due to it being too daunting a task. But it was seemingly meant to be that he would take a crack at the franchise, and now he comes in at a crucial time with perhaps an even more daunting task after behind the scenes shakeups and a divisive saga film.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters this Memorial Day, May 25th and is on track for a huge opening weekend. Here's hoping that we want to do as Ron Howard did over 40 years ago and get right back in line after seeing it. Let us know your favorite Star Wars experience in the comments and May the 4th be with you.