Ron Howard found himself in a middle of a movie mess when Lucasfilm dropped co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Luckily, he was able to pick up the pieces, and he even got a visit from George Lucas, who he calls his "big brother mentor" in an interview with EW. But what originally started as a quick hi-and-bye turned into an entire session.
"He had intended to just kind of stop by and say hi, and he stayed five hours," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "There’s even one little moment in a scene that—I can’t tell you what, sorry—but in the scene on the Millennium Falcon where George said, 'Why doesn’t Han just do this.'"
And it turned out that Howard agreed. "It actually is a funny little bit that will probably get a laugh," said Kennedy. "And Ron happened to be by the monitor and not inside the Falcon and he goes, 'Oh that’s a great idea,' and ran in and said, 'George wants us to do this.' So that was pretty cool. I think George felt pretty great about that. He could revisit these characters, and I think he felt so comfortable, obviously with Ron being there, that it was just fun for him."
Lucas has been only quietly, minorly involved in Star Wars' fate since selling to Disney for $4 billion in 2012. In 2015 he said: “When you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing. The third one is you don’t show up at their coffee shop and say, ‘You are going to burn it…’ You just say ‘Nope, gone, history, I’m moving forward.'”
(His original story outline for the third trilogy was apparently pretty vital in The Last Jedi, though.)
As for Howard, it seems that all's well that end's well since he seemed to thoroughly enjoy putting the film about a young Han Solo together. "It’s a fun tone," said Howard. "And of course, with the Kasdans [brothers] writing it and it being a young Han Solo movie, there’s this swagger, and there’s this sense of humor and this kind of youthful emotion and intensity." That sounds about right for Han Solo.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is due out in theaters on May 25.