Han Solo is probably the best character in the Star Wars franchise, in no small part thanks to Harrison Ford’s cooler-than-cool performance. So, the pressure is on Alden Ehrenreich, who plays young Han Solo in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story. Can his take on the iconic character measure up? Ford seems to think it does, which must come as a relief to Ehrenreich.

Speaking to Movie Web in a story published on Tuesday, Solo director Ron Howard said that Ford enjoyed the movie and Ehrenreich’s performance.

“I had never heard Harrison [being] effusive about anything, and he was raving about it,” Howard recalled. “He said, ‘Alden nailed it. He made it his own.’”

Solo is getting good but not great reviews, and is currently sitting at 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That figure only places it above Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace, but the general buzz seems to indicate its much better than those two stinkers. The film had a deeply troubled development, as the original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired after pretty much filming an entire movie and Howard was brought on to reshoot 70 percent of it. There were rumors that Ehrenreich was struggling as Han Solo, and that his performance might tank the whole film. That doesn’t appear to be the case, at least according to Ford.

Howard said Ehrenreich approached playing Han Solo the way most actors prepare to play a real person in a biopic.

“Just like in a biopic, the main thing is that pretty soon into the movie you’re really just involved with this story and these characters, and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “Your job is the same as in any other movie: to make the scene work and make it feel like a real person.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25.

Photos via Lucasfilm