Ron Howard Says George Lucas Suggested Change to 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

George Lucas may have passed over the reins on Star Wars to Disney and a fresh crop of directors, but he still has opinions on what his original characters would do or say. When Ron Howard stopped by The Late Show on Thursday, he revealed that Lucas suggested a joke during the filming of Solo: A Star Wars Story that Howard eventually filmed.

When Lucas dropped by the set one day, Howard said, "Everybody's jaws drop, it's like snapping to attention." And though Howard said that Lucas is pretty hands-off on the franchise at this point, he did tell Howard as a scene was in the midst of being filming, "You know what Han would really do here," and shared a joke he thought would play well. 

Howard said that he immediately told the actors they were going to switch up the scene and realize Lucas' idea. "I know when I hear a good idea," he said. (No word on whether the joke made it into the final cut.)

Also on The Late Show, Howard discussed when Lucas first told him the idea for the original Star Wars on the set of their 1973 film American Graffiti. "I didn't get it at all," he said, before sharing that he saw the film twice in one day once he did check it out.

Howard also explained that he was initially cautious about becoming the third director to try his hand at Solo. Howard stepped in as the director of Solo: A Star Wars Story in June 2017 after co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller departed months into the project due to "creative differences."

"No people want to be part of a situation like that," he said, mentioning the creative differences. But he said the screenplay changed his mind: "I loved it, I loved the story, it surprised me."

Howard addressed his spin on the film in a recent Star Wars featurette. "The Star Wars universe that we see in Solo was different from anything else we've seen in any previous Star Wars movies," he said "The empire controls everything. Everyone is struggling to survive, but we discover this incredible free spirit." Solo follows a young Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) when he first meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) in the criminal underworld.

Tickets for Solo: A Star Wars Story go on sale on Friday. The film is tracking for a record $160 million during its release on Memorial Day weekend.