Ron Howard Recalls The Moment He Turned Down Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace


When Ron Howard stepped into the director’s chair for Solo: A Star Wars Story, he replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller who were fired by Kathleen Kennedy due to creative differences. It also allowed him another opportunity to helm a Star Wars picture after he turned down an offer from George Lucas to direct Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

In an interview with Total Film, Howard recalled that particular moment of his career and said that he initially found the task of directing a movie in that galaxy far, far away to be “daunting,” explaining:

“I want to clarify that a little. It was a casual conversation in a car park. It was not like I read a script and weighed it carefully.”

Now, when a big name like Ron Howard finds the opportunity to direct a Star Wars movie to be nerve racking, you know there must be a huge amount of pressure that goes along with making one of these films. Without a script in hand, then, Howard understandably let Lucas tackle the material, instead.

“It was a knee-jerk reaction because I immediately felt George [Lucas] should do it.”


Oddly enough, the director actually felt less pressure when signing on to helm Solo: A Star Wars Story because of how the franchise has expanded with spinoff films. There are not only more movies being made, but stories not involving the Skywalker clan are now being told as well, which was something that helped him make the decision to take the job.

“Now that other people are broadening the scope and the approach to the movies, it became a more reasonable consideration.”

Whether or not there will be any sequels to Solo: A Star Wars Story remains to be seen. Also, whether Howard chooses to remain involved in the franchise is up in the air as well. But in an interview with Fandango, he said that it all comes down to how the fans react:

“I think the fans are going to define all that. I mean I think that Lucasfilm and Disney in casting actors, and particularly young actors, want to see what happens and build upon that. Certainly, they want the commitment from the young actors, but there are no concrete plans. I think there’s been a lot of concrete energy and now marketing energy going behind this movie.”

Circling back to Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace though, and tell us, do you think the film would have fared better had Howard directed it? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section down below.