It was the announcement that sent shockwaves coursing through the Star Wars fanbase: After four months’ worth of production, Disney and Lucasfilm parted ways with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the erstwhile directors on the Han Solo anthology pic – now known as simply Solo: A Star Wars Story.
That was back in July, when the Powers That Be turned to Ron Howard as a last-minute substitution. Even by Lucasfilm’s own standards, it was a remarkably quick turnaround, and something the studio would later call upon once more while drafting J.J. Abrams in to replace Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) on Episode IX.
But on the topic of Solo, Lord and Miller were in attendance at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles this past weekend. Truth be told, both creators have been relatively quiet since being removed from the high-profile gig, but here, Phil Lord stressed that both he and Miller “learned a lot” from what he considers to be a “wonderful” experience:
We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators. I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big. Sometimes people break up, and it’s really sad, and it’s really disappointing, but it happens and we learned a lot from our collaborators and we’re better filmmakers for it. We’re really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best.
Since climbing aboard, Ron Howard reportedly reshot close to 80 percent of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which, if true, would mean there’s not an awful lot of Lord and Miller’s material left intact. That’s not all that surprising, either, given Lucasfilm reportedly took issue with the duo’s comedic leanings, and opted for a proven filmmaker in Ron Howard.
Only time will tell if Kathleen Kennedy and Co. have made the right decision, but Rogue One‘s U-turn is living proof that Lucasfilm is capable of pulling it out of the bag, even when the odds are stacked against them.
And so, after all its creative setbacks, Solo: A Star Wars Story remains on course for May 25th, 2018, which is only five months after the release of The Last Jedi in December.