'Solo: A Star Wars Story' directed by Ron Howard

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Director Ron Howard got some Jedi Master wisdom from George Lucas. (WLS)

The very first showings of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" begin Thursday night.

But "Solo" got off to a rocky start. Director Ron Howard was recruited to put it on course.

"I really think the fact that I could come in with a lot of energy and a lot of beliefs, that in and of itself was a signal to everybody that there was good work going on," Howard said.

Howard got some Jedi Master wisdom from George Lucas.

"He said, 'You're gonna have a great time, trust your instincts, well, he was right about that and then he said, when in doubt, speak to the 12-year-old in you, this movie is first and foremost for 12-year-olds everywhere,'" Howard said.

The director got Harrison Ford to reveal his secret take on Solo.

"I was curious about it throughout the years what he felt he knew about that character - I won't reveal it, but it was incredibly helpful - and it led to humor and more comedy," he said.

When it comes to any future Star Wars franchise films, Howard said: "This has been such a sprint to get this movie out. This feels like a summer movie to me, it feels like that kind of popcorn, summer experience and so I really wanted to meet this date."

He added, "I think audiences are gonna tell everybody involved whether they want more of this set of characters, but I had a blast, I had a great time doing it."

Howard shot the hit "Backdraft" in Chicago. Now he's optioned the sci-fi best seller "Afterlife" by Chicago author Marcus Sakey.

"It's so exciting and it would be really new territory for me as a director, so I am so pumped about 'Afterlife,'" he said.

But will he shoot it here?

"Of course I would, I love Chicago, an opportunity to go to Chicago, come on!" Howard replied.
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