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Solo: Alden Ehrenreich Was Never Meant To Do A Harrison Ford Impression

Star Wars franchise newbie Alden Ehrenreich has a lot to live up to in Solo: A Star Wars Story, taking up the mantle of Harrison Ford's infamous smooth-talking smuggler Han Solo. Some fans have dismissed the standalone altogether because of Ehrenreich's involvement — and Ford's lack thereof. However, director Ron Howard has come forward to clarify that there was never any endeavor for the 28-year-old actor to imitate the living Star Wars legend. 

Speaking with Empire Magazine (via ComicBook), Howard revealed that Ehrenreich was never meant to do an impression of Ford in portraying Han Solo. 

"It was always clear from the beginning, before I was involved, that it was not going to be an impression of Harrison. No one wanted that," the director stated. "Part of Han Solo's character is sort of a vibe and a feel and a body language."

Though Ehrenreich is taking a fresh approach to the well-loved character, and isn't at all attempting to recreate what Ford has already done to make Han Solo a cultural icon, the actor isn't so doe-eyed to think that there aren't any expectations of him. Ehrenreich spoke about the importance and impact of Solo in terms of Han Solo's history, staying in a separate interview, "I think this movie is a great adventure story, and it's a great adventure story that's kind of a biopic in the way of a fictional character. So you're watching this story unfold and enjoying the high excitement of that. And then at the same time, there's more of a focus on character and how he changes, I think, than you typically get in that kind of movie."

For those who have tossed and turned at night wondering whether Ehrenreich will do Han Solo justice in Solo: A Star Wars Story, they may find relief in knowing that Ford was something of a secret adviser behind the scenes of the movie. He and Ehrenreich had an important discussion before filming began, with Ford telling the newcomer that he should reveal the public that he taught him "everything [he] needed to know."

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also spoke to the fact that Ford gave Ehrenreich some sage advice. "What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George [Lucas] had done with Han ... who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed. He gave Alden that kind of insight, which was invaluable," Kennedy explained. "There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him."

Any lingering worries can be put to rest in knowing that Ford actually approves of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ehrenreich's performance as Han Solo. As Kennedy later noted, Ford gave the script a thumbs-up and said that Ehrenreich is a "really good kid."

Based on the trailers for the movie, plus the additional insight the creatives and executives have dished up here, it seems Ehrenreich has accomplished exactly what the filmmakers were hoping he would do: avoid mimicking Ford and make the character his own. Fans can see the actor's take on Han Solo when Solo: A Star Wars Story is released on May 25.