— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) October 17, 2017
Ron Howard has wrapped production on what is now officially titled Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film, which is the second Star Wars spinoff to be released in Lucasfilm's Disney era, took a long and troubled road to the big screen. Initially, the movie was set to be directed by LEGO Movie duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but the directors were infamously fired from the project in the midst of filming due to creative differences with Kathleen Kennedy. Shortly after their departure, the Oscar-winner Howard valiantly stepped in to get Han Solo back on track, steering it towards the finish line with his steady hand.
When Howard came onboard, he became a one-man promotional department for his movie, sharing a bevy of behind-the-scenes images on social media. These photos arguably were the best kind of damage control the studio could have hoped for in the wake of Lord and Miller's axing, as they piqued fans' interest by teasing what's in store. It was fun to get glimpses of Chewbacca and the spice mines of Kessel, but the abundance of pictures shared over a period of three months indicated Howard wasn't merely coming in to finish what Lord and Miller started; he was essentially reshooting the film from scratch. At long last, this grueling process has come to an end, and Han Solo can finally move to post.
Related: First Solo Trailer Reportedly Edited
Howard made the announcement on Twitter, also revealing the movie's name. You can check out the video in the space above. In it, the director thanks his talented cast and crew for all their hard work on the project, before Chewbacca (as evidenced by the furry Wookiee arms) hands Howard a card that unveils the Solo: A Star Wars Story logo. This all but confirms Lucasfilm is sticking with the Star Wars Story label to differentiate the saga films from the anthologies. The emblem bears some resemblance to the one used for Rogue One, though the font symbolizes this should be much lighter in tone when compared to last year's blockbuster. Instead of a bleak war drama, Solo is being poised as a swashbuckling adventure.
The title obviously isn't going to win any points in the creativity department, but it gets the job done. It's been said the film covers Han's youth from ages 18-24 - centering on key events such as his first meeting with Chewie and winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. It shouldn't surprise anyone Solo is the title Lucasfilm went with, as it reads as a strong fit for the plot. Whereas previous Star Wars films operated as ensemble pieces (with a clear protagonist, but focus on multiple characters), this one shines the spotlight on its namesake and all the trouble he got into before joining the Rebellion.
Interestingly, Howard closes out his video by telling his followers, "See you next year." While this isn't official confirmation, it indicates we won't see any official marketing materials for Solo until 2018 after The Last Jedi has already premiered. In the Disney era, Lucasfilm has made a habit of promoting one film at a time, but some had thought they'd change their methods a bit in this instance considering the five month gap between Episode VIII and Solo. As it stands, the studio may try to attempt to squeeze a full advertising campaign in four months, which should be fascinating to see.
Source: Ron Howard
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019