Meaghan Kirby
June 23, 2017 10:46 am

A day after being named as the new director of the untitled Han Solo film, Ron Howard has broken his silence, saying that it’s an “honor” to work on the project. Howard was announced as director of the stand-alone Star Wars film three days after the project’s original directors, The Lego Movie‘s Chris Miller and Phil Lord, were fired by Lucasfilm over creative differences.

In a short series of tweets, Howard said he has been a Star Wars fan since 1977 and expressed his excitement in joining the long-running franchise, while politely acknowledging the work Miller and Lord had done on the film.

Howard is no stranger to the Star Wars family. He starred in Star Wars creator George Lucas’s 1973 film American Graffiti — alongside Richard Dreyfuss and OG Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford — and has been a close friend of Lucas’s since. Lucas had allegedly told his American Graffiti friends about his plans to create a space epic, which Howard and Dreyfuss joked about on Twitter.

On Thursday, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy named Howard as the new director in a statement.

Production on the film had recently halted as Lord and Miller and Kennedy worked to resolve their creative differences. Unfortunately, Lord and Miller were let go after the differences resulted in a stalemate; Lucasfilm quickly worked to find a suitable replacement so production wouldn’t be delayed too long. With films of this caliber, reshoots are almost always built into production schedule — all the Star Wars films, most extensively Rogue One, have undergone reshoots — so luckily this production delay won’t set the schedule back too much.

While we may never know all the details about the Han Solo behind-the-scenes drama, we’ll still be able to see the film next May, as Lucasfilm has no plans to change the release date.

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