In a way, we already got a young Han Solo — and he was fantastic.
With all the news this week of a director change mid-production of the Star Wars stand-alone about the popular, cocky space smuggler, it should be pointed out that Harrison Ford already gave us a young Solo — and it wasn’t even in a Star Wars film.
Ford’s first big film credit came in 1973, when he played Bob Falfa in American Graffiti.
Yes, it was directed by George Lucas, but that is beside the point for this argument. After all, it is common knowledge Lucas didn’t want Ford for Solo originally. So, clearly, he didn’t realize what he’d witnessed.
But there’s no mistaking it: The wise-cracking, trashing-talking hot-rodder Falfa (complete with his black 1955 Chevrolet 150) is young Han Solo.
And the race scene between his character and John Milner (Paul Le Mat) perfectly encapsulates everything fans would expect from a 31-year-old Solo.
Now, it should be noted that Alden Ehrenreich, who is taking up the mantle of character, will likely be playing Solo at 27, the actor’s actual age — but still, what’s a few years, really?
This also doesn’t have anything to do due with the argument here, but it is kind of cool Ron Howard starred in American Graffiti and is now taking over behind the camera for the young Han Solo picture. What’s more, Howard’s character helped save Falfa after he crashed!
Check out the clip of Ford in American Graffiti below and imagine it happening in space. See?