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The Star Wars franchise is a sprawling galaxy with virtually unlimited characters who can go on a broad range of adventures. Now with spinoff films diverging from the main trilogy, Lucasfilm can tell all of the stories that it wants. I asked Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard about that during the recent Solo press day in Los Angeles, and while he admitted that he doesn't think about specific stories that he wants to see in the Star Wars universe, he's excited by the sheer variety of storytelling in this world. Howard told us:
Well, I haven't had time to think too much about all of that, and I'm a fan, but I'm not somebody who lies awake at night kind of wishing for the next one of these or those. I really think there are a lot of corners of this galaxy that could be explored. I know fans say, 'Why do we need to go there or why do we need to go to this other direction?' But good storytellers can take inspiration from all of this, almost like it's a, this is a real world. It's like saying 'How many times can we do a story about the Renaissance? How many times can we do a World War II story?' I mean the reality is there are fascinating characters and a lot of drama.
When he frames it like that, it makes more sense. The Star Wars franchise is not limited to a specific group of characters, and there's technically no limit to the places and eras that directors can take these stories. We could see a period piece, a war film, a comedy and a sports movie, and they could all take place within the greater Star Wars universe. It's that lack of limits that excites Ron Howard, and it's clear evidence that this franchise could potentially go on forever.
This is something that other properties seem to have figured out in recent years as well. Specifically, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen great success by injecting characters into genres that fit their styles, such as a heist movie for Ant-Man or a political thriller for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now the Star Wars series has similarly embraced different creative approaches, and that decision has opened up a new realm of storytelling avenues.
Looking specifically at Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Star Wars universe has done something particularly unique by offering up a crime caper filled with action set pieces that specifically inform Han's development as a character. Ron Howard continued in his conversation with CinemaBlend and explained:
What I liked about this opportunity for me personally was that it was really character-driven. Even the action set pieces, while every Star Wars in their nature and with the intensity, each and every one is designed as a test for young Han Solo. That's really what it's all about. The relationships, which are really important to this which offer a lot of real great performance opportunities for some great actors, that's a little bit unusual for a Star Wars movie to pin that much on those human relationships. For me, as a director, it was fun to combine those elements.
Check out the following clip to see our interview with Ron Howard and hear what he had to say about the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy for yourself!