The fan base for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” mighty as it may be, is in for some potentially disappointing news from director Ron Howard. While the introduction of young version of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) was intended to launch a new strand of “Star Wars” movies from Lucasfilm, it wound up a box-office failure (grossing around $392 million against its reported $300 million budget) and received middling reviews from critics. The film also suffered various behind-the-scenes snafus as Phil Lord and Chris Miller were booted from the project in 2017 before Ron Howard came on to finish the job.
In a new interview with NME, Ron Howard said that any rumors about a possible sequel to “Solo” are totally fan-driven and not seriously in talks at Lucasfilm.
“The only discussion that I’m aware of about a sequel for ‘Solo’ is coming from the fans at this point,” Howard said. “I don’t think it’s a Lucasfilm priority, as I understand it.”
Cries for a sequel also followed with the film’s reveal that “Phantom Menace” villain Darth Maul is alive after all.
The “Thirteen Lives” and “Hillbilly Elegy” director continued, “But there’s some great characters launched, and the folks from Lucasfilm love the fans and really do listen so I would never say never — but I’m not aware of any concrete plans right now to extend the story or deal with that particular set of characters.”
Earlier this year, “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy regarded the film’s failure as a learning lesson for Lucasfilm and the franchise.
“There should be moments along the way when you learn things,” producer Kennedy told Vanity Fair at the time. “Now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.” The main takeaway? “Star Wars” shouldn’t just recast legacy, fan-favorite characters like Han and Lando.
“It made a lot of money, it just didn’t live up to expectations,” Howard said on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast back in 2019. “I came in eager to help, felt like I could, and had a blast. Normally it takes three years, I worked eight months and had an experience. I feel very good about the way it turned out. I loved the way it played to audiences, which I witnessed. All of that I am able to feel good about.”