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I treated Solo as a true story: Ron Howard

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Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard says he approached the movie about one of the series' most beloved characters as if it was a true story.

Starring US actor Alden Ehrenreich and billed as a space western, the series' latest spin-off is about the adventures of a young Han Solo and his trusted sidekick Chewbacca, an hirsute character from the planet Kashyyyk.

"This is a single rite of passage by a character," Howard said in an interview marking the movie's screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

"I treated it like it was a true story. I tried to treat it in as an authentic way as I could."

Audiences "expected to be transported as well as to have fun" in Star War movies, Howard said, given that the stories take place in a far-away galaxy.

Howard stepped in as director last year, six months into the production process after the two previous directors quit as a result of differences with the producers.

But Howard said that a lot of thought had already gone into the film when he took charge of it and the two previous directors' "fingerprints are all over the movie."

Hollywood actor Harrison Ford played Solo in the first of the Star Wars franchise in 1977, turning the character into one of film's heart-throbs.

He reprised the role in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, 1983's Return of the Jedi and 2015's The Force Awakens.

© DPA 2018

Image: Ron Howard and Chewbacca posing at the Solo: A Star Wars Story photocall held at the Palais des Festivals on May 15, 2018 in Cannes, France as part of the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. Photo by Lionel Hahn/ABACAPRESS.COM