Star Wars directors George Lucas and Ron Howard go back aways, well before their unexpected reunion on the Han Solo movie. In fact, their own history predates that of Star Wars itself. In 1973, Lucas wrote and directed a little picture by the name of American Graffiti, one that starred a not-yet-20-years-old Howard as one of a few high school grads cruising the strip. 45 years later, Lucas and Howard once again collaborated, albeit in a smaller way, on Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Howard and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recounted Lucas’ involvement with the standalone story in a recent interview with EW. Along with a fantastic anecdote from Howard that takes fans back to the set of American Graffiti and goes behind the scenes to shed light on Lucas’ earliest musings about Star Wars, the Oscar-winning director also spoke about how Lucas, whom he describes as a “big brother/mentor”, paid a visit to the Solo set and ended up shaping a small scene. Details on that scene were kept quiet, but we do know that it takes place on the Millennium Falcon and includes some of Lucas’ suggestions. Keep an eye out for it when Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25th!
Here’s what Howard had to say about Lucas dropping by the set:
“He came by to visit the first day that I picked up shooting. George and his wife, Melody, came by to pay a little set visit. It made me feel great.”
And Lucas’ advice started off pretty general when it came to both filmmaking and what to expect with the Star Wars fandom:
“He told me just trust my instincts, you know? I know he kind of fundamentally feels like, first and foremost, [these films are] sort of for 12-year-old boys, and yet even he knows that it’s grown so far beyond that, and the fans have grown with the series in a great, important way. So he didn’t offer a lot of advice except, ‘You’ll get this.’”
That wasn’t the only thing Lucas had to offer while on set of Solo, as Kennedy confirms:
“He had intended to just kind of stop by and say hi, and he stayed five hours. 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.’
It actually is a funny little bit that will probably get a laugh. 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.