George Lucas may be retired from filmmaking, but he had a small hand in crafting a scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story as the project went through its directorial upheaval. Lucas, of course, was the force behind the first six films in the franchise, changing the course of the entire industry while influencing legions of aspiring directors and movie fans. In 2012, he shocked the world one final time by selling Lucasfilm to Disney, allowing the next generation of filmmakers to contribute to the galaxy far, far away. Lucas spent some time crafting an outline for the sequel trilogy, but these were ultimately discarded (much to Lucas' chagrin) in favor of a different direction.
The Creator seems content to be a mere spectator now, offering his thoughts on each year's Star Wars movie. Though he was critical of The Force Awakens being a retro movie, he enjoyed Rogue One and felt The Last Jedi was beautifully made. Despite fan petitions to get him back behind the camera, he's happy to not deal with the headaches anymore. However, he couldn't help but lend a small touch to a sequence in Solo when he paid visit to the set.
The revelation comes courtesy of EW. Last summer, after Ron Howard (Lucas' American Graffiti star) had taken over for the fired Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Lucas was there on set. In addition to giving Howard some advice about helming a Star Wars movie, Lucas actually made a tiny contribution to one scene during his stay. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy teased it in an interview:
"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."
With Harrison Ford serving as an adviser to both Howard and new Han Alden Ehrenreich, this means the two men most responsible for first bringing Han Solo to life had a hand in helping the character's origin story along. It's a nice way for things to come full circle more than 40 years later and had to have been special for Lucas. During the development of the prequel trilogy, he was heavily criticized at times for his story choices. That obviously took a massive toll on him (and is partially why he sold to Disney), but thankfully the reception didn't completely dampen his passion for the material. It will be interesting to see what Lucas' idea was, but it seemed to excite Kennedy and Howard. If it's anything like Carrie Fisher's contributions to Last Jedi, fans should be able to spot it as soon as it happens.
After the divisiveness of Episode VIII (which turned the saga formula on its head), Solo is shaping up to be just what the doctor ordered for the fan base. While there are some reservations about Ehrenreich taking over for Ford, all of the marketing from this week has hinted at a fun romp through the galaxy, complete with an old school adventure vibe that Lucasfilm cut its teeth on decades ago. Despite all of the turmoil surrounding Solo, it looks to have turned out all right, meaning it should be another winner for the franchise.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019