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Opie in space: Ron Howard-Star Wars jokes blast off on Twitter

It's Happy Days for Twitter jokesters. The director we've known since Mayberry has taken over the Han Solo movie.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Many of us have grown up with Ron Howard, from his Opie days on "The Andy Griffith Show" through "Happy Days," "Arrested Development," his directing career and more. Yes, he's an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he's also Opie, and Richie, and Steve from "American Graffiti," and that guy from that one "Love, American Style" episode. Many directors are just names to most of us, but Howard is a face, a voice and a life.

So when it was announced Thursday that he'd be directing the Han Solo solo film, after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's departure, it kinda felt like Lucasfilm had handed the directing reins over to everyone's little brother. 

Naturally, Happy Days came to social media snarksters, right up until the joke jumped the shark.

There were "Arrested Development" jokes...

"Happy Days" jokes...

And "Andy Griffith Show" jokes.

Richie, er, Opie, er, Howard is reportedly getting right down to work. The Hollywood Reporter says he "is considered to be a safe choice to complete the task, someone who will ably finish the movie while being a calming presence on set."

The Han Solo movie stars Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke, and is scheduled for release in May 2018.

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