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Ron Howard Reveals the Cinematic Influences of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

With its myriad homages to pop cultural touchstones like the films of Akira Kurosawa, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and Flash Gordon serials, Star Wars is a film franchise that has always worn its influences proudly on its sleeve. It is a proud tradition carried on by modern Star Wars directors like Rian Johnson, whose The Last Jedi was chockablock with references and allusions to other films, and now it continues in the Ron Howard-directed Solo: A Star Wars Story, a rollicking prequel that is suffused with DNA running the gamut from westerns to heist movies to a certain 1970s je ne sais quoi. 

While we’ll have a much deeper dive into the cinematic influences and many references to be found within Solo: A Star Wars Story, I sat down with Ron Howard at a recent Los Angeles press day to ask the veteran director about which films he bore in mind while tackling the latest entry in the galaxy far, far away. Howard was forthcoming in his response, mentioning both a film from his own oeuvre, as well as specific actors whose style he wanted to channel into this tale of Han Solo’s early years. And now–before you get yourself whipped into a frenzy, it wasn’t Splash that inspired Howard. They’re saving that homage for Ackbar: A Star Wars Story, hitting theaters in 2099.

What film references did you spot in Solo? Let us know in the comments below!

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25, 2018. Read our spoiler free-review!

Images: Disney/Lucasfilm

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@DanCasey).

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