Sorry, no, this is not a Throwback Thursday of something of my own. It's a throwback that is tied in very tightly with a bit of entertainment news that was released today. The news being that Ron Howard has been hired to take over for fired co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of the as-yet-untitled Star Wars anthology film about a young Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Here's the video...
And it represents a moment in time when Ron Howard starred on screen with a then-unknown named Harrison Ford who went on to play Han Solo in four Star Wars films. Better yet, this movie -- American Graffiti -- was directed by Star Wars creator, producer, writer, and (sometimes) director George Lucas.
What's my take on Howard manning the helm of this movie?
Well, I'm more excited than I would be for any of about 90% of other directors in Hollywood. We, as fans, are getting a very established professional at the reins of the film. One who has done drama, comedy, action, mystery, romance, and... pretty much, you name it.
On the reverse side of that coin, though, is the fact that Howard has had a miserable go at it for about a decade now. Take a look at this list of movies (in reverse chronological order) and see if you can find a big hit:
- Inferno (2016) - this film did nothing
- In the Heart of the Sea (2015) - I've never heard of it
- Made in America (2013) - see above
- Rush (2013) - despite starring Thor, it did nothing
- The Dilemma (2011) - huh?
- Angels & Demons (2009) - I never cared for it; didn't live up to the book
- Frost/Nixon (2008) - it did well, but I was a bit bored by it
- The Da Vinci Code (2006) - did well in theaters but marked a total ruination of what should've been an amazing book adaptation
- Cinderella Man (2005) - I don't think I've seen this but I have heard relatively good reviews
- The Missing (2003) - huh?
- A Beautiful Mind (2001) - this is where his string of hits stopped and the above started. A Beautiful Mind was pretty fantastic.
Before this, he had a huge list of hit films. I don't even really need to list any as I'm sure you can rattle them off the top of your head.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm hesitantly optimistic? It could be great and a return to form for Howard (although half the movie was already completed) or it could be another in a string of failures and the first of the Disney wave of Star Wars films to bomb out (this assumes that The Last Jedi is awesome, of course). I, obviously, don't want the latter to be the case at all. So I will cheer for Howard and hope for the best.
The Force will be with you, Opie. Always.
Just try and tell me Ron Howard wouldn't have been a fantastic Archie Andrews back in the day.