The Star Wars franchise is in a fascinating position. With Disney now in charge of the beloved property, we've seen three consecutive box office and critical successes. The franchise has to keep this going with Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will be the second standalone movie ever. The pressure is on to bring younger versions of both Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, while behind the scenes drama has also dominated the conversation around the movie. Ron Howard replaced original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller after they were fired by Lucasfilm, and now actress Emilia Clarke has explained how Howard helped put the cast and crew's fears at bay. Clarke recently said,
He took us all in and listened to everyone. He took us from this kind of 'what are we doing?' to a place of such ease and comfort and fun.
It looks like Ron Howard understood what a precarious position Solo was in when he stepped in for the original directors. And although this was an unprecedented shakeup for the Star Wars franchise, Howard found a way to bring everyone together and finish the highly anticipated blockbuster.
As the fandom worried about the state of Solo in the wake of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's firing, one can only imagine how much more stressful it was on set. Emilia Clarke's comments to Variety help illustrate that, although she also revealed how Ron Howard was able to quickly pick up the pieces, and keep the space opera moving.
The Star Wars franchise is one near and dear to the hearts of audiences, as it's a series that has been passed down across generations. While most actors would jump at the opportunity to join the universe, standalone films like Solo pose a greater risk at flopping. Attempting to bring Harrison Ford's character back to the silver screen with a new actors is certainly ambitious, although early reception for the movie has been fairly positive. Ultimately the fans are going to decide the verdict, although the next Star Wars Story will likely still make a ton of money in the process.
Ron Howard may have jumped into directing Solo midway through filming, but fans were going to be eyeing the blockbuster with a microscope regardless. While Disney is delivering ambitious new additions to the property, many of the hardcore fandom seem impossible to please. J.J. Abrams was criticized for making The Force Awakens too formulaic and A New Hope-ish, and Rian Johnson was met with massive backlash for taking risks with The Last Jedi.