Ron Howard Weighs In on Star Wars and Willow Shared Universe Theory

Emma McIntyre, Getty Images
Emma McIntyre, Getty Images / Emma McIntyre, Getty Images

​While he's best known as the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, ​George Lucas is an accomplished filmmaker outside of those franchises, too. He's the mind behind cult classics like American Graffiti, THX 1138, and Willow.

While Willow was ​directed by Ron Howard, Lucas wrote the script and for years rumors have persisted that the film shared a universe with Star Wars, but that it simply took place on a distant planet unaffiliated with the goings-on of the famed space opera. However, Howard himself recently put this rumor to rest.

"I never heard anything about that," Howard stated. "​George never suggested anything like that."

Howard also denied the rumors that the trolls in the film were modeled after his brother, Clint. "The trolls are just trolls. I love working with my brother Clint and every opportunity that I ever have, I do it but I never force it. We were shooting in London and [there was] no role worthy of dragging him over," he shared.

However, Howard did go out of his way to confirm one long-held belief about Willow: that two of the villains were named after famous film critics. The evil General Kael was named after the notoriously ruthless Pauline Kael and the two-headed monster Eborsisk was named after the iconic At the Movies duo of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.