Solo’s Ron Howard Explains What It Was Like Taking Over The Star Wars Movie, And His Relationship With The Original Directors

Alden Ehrenreich and Chewbacca in Solo: A Star Wars Story
(Image credit: Disney)

There are popular movie franchises, and then there’s the Star Wars movies. The galaxy far, far away has entertained audiences for decades, although there have been a few bumps in the road during recent years. This includes the production of Solo, with Ron Howard recently explaining what it was like taking over the Star Wars movie-- and his relationship with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

During filming for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired, to the shock of the generations of fans out there. Ron Howard was brought in to complete the project, while Lord and Miller would later earn an Oscar for their work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. During a conversation with THR, Howard opened up about what it was like stepping into the drama to complete the standalone film, saying:

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. 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. 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] Jonathan Kasdan.

What a class act. It sounds like Ron Howard understood what a tense moment he was entering into with Solo: A Star Wars Story. And while the Happy Days icon was tasked with completing the spinoff starring Alden Ehrenreich, he was also in contact with Chris Miller and Phil Lord. This no doubt helped the passing of the torch happen with minimal interruption to production.

Chris Miller and Phil Lord were ultimately let go by Lucasfilm reportedly after having creative differences over Solo: A Star Wars Story. The story of the filmmakers being escorted off set broke the internet, and immediately had folks concerned about the contents of the standalone film. And in the end it would be the first financial flop of the Star Wars franchise. 

Despite Solo’s poor box office performance, there has still been plenty of talks about a potential sequel among fans of the galaxy far, far away. Indeed, there were a number of narrative seeds planted for a follow-up, including the return of Maul and hints at Jabba the Hutt. It remains to be seen if Lucasfilm will ever change its mind and continue that story. In fact it’s currently unclear when Star Wars as a whole will return to theaters.

From the looks of it, the next Star Wars movie hitting theaters will be the one currently in development with director Taika Waititi. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.