Ron Howard set the directing bar high for Star Wars film

Qi'Ra (Emilia Clarke) soars with Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich, both above) in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Qi'Ra (Emilia Clarke) soars with Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich, both above) in Solo: A Star Wars Story.PHOTO: DISNEY-LUCASFILM

LOS ANGELES • It has been a hard day's night getting to launch Solo: A Star Wars Story into the cinematic universe.

It is an odyssey that its film-maker Ron Howard said was as daunting as the process of making his Beatles documentary.

Howard, 64, who made the acclaimed The Beatles: Eight Days A Week (2016), about the peak years of the Fab Four, told a news conference in southern California he felt just as much pressure - from fans - for Solo.

"The level of anticipation is unlike anything I've done. You fall into it and it's amazing. It was a little bit like the Beatles documentary I took on," said Howard, who won directing and producing Oscars for A Beautiful Mind (2002).

"I could tell from the moment it was announced, 'Ron, don't (mess) this up' (was the vibe). The fans care and they should care."

Solo, which gets its United States release on May 25, charts the adventure-filled past of smuggler Han Solo - made famous in four Star Wars movies starring Harrison Ford.

The second of three planned spin-offs from Disney-owned Lucasfilm, it follows Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the second-highest-grossing movie worldwide in 2016.

Howard was brought in last year to replace directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were sacked by Lucasfilm over "creative differences".

But the long and winding road to make Solo seems to have reached a happy ending, with positive reviews from those who caught previews last week.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Ron Howard set the directing bar high for Star Wars film'. Print Edition | Subscribe