When Ron Howard took over the directing reigns from Phil Lord and Chris Miller on Solo: A Star Wars Story, he wanted to learn a bit more about the titular character, so he went to the source for some guidance: Harrison Ford himself. Here’s what Howard had to say about their conversation and what he learned:
“Harrison’s a very thoughtful actor and an artist, and I wanted to know what he learned about the character. He said that Han is always torn between that sense that he was, in a way, an orphan, and therefore both yearned for connection with people and struggled with it at the same time. I thought that was pretty interesting. Han has survived and proven that he can survive, but he’s never sure he’s as quite as smart as he needs to be. Change that. He’s not really ‘smart.’ That’s not the word he used. Han’s not as on top of it as he needs to be. So he wants to give the appearance of [control], but in fact, he’s often scrambling. I think Harrison played that beautifully, and Alden and I talked about both of those ideas a lot.”
Ford previously had met with star Alden Ehrenreich, who would be taking over the role of the iconic character. Kathleen Kennedy discusses how Ehrenreich learned from Ford:
“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed. He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 25, 2018.