Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly announced that the Star Wars spin-off films revealed to be in development at Disney will in fact concern a Han Solo “origin story” and a standalone Boba Fett film, making them the first two full-length films in Star Wars history to not center on a Skywalker.
While these aren’t exactly shocking revelations – both characters are huge fan favorites – what remains to be seen and revealed is who will play the young Han Solo, and that subject should be considerably sensitive to a lot of people.
Who should play young Han?
Firstly, let’s look at the original trilogy. Harrison Ford was 35 years old when he played Han Solo for the first time, so we ideally need an actor under 30 to pull off a version of Han that’s definitely younger than Harrison’s. As the script isn’t even ready, gauging the exact age is impossible, so anyone between 20 and approximately 33 could be a possibility. Here are a few suggestions, though, for pure conjecture, of course, three for a “younger Han”, i.e. a story that takes place long before A New Hope, and three for an “older Han”, i.e. with only a slightly younger Han than Ford played him:
Nicholas Hoult – Age: 23
Could Hoult, a rising star from films like Warm Bodies, X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer, be a fit? He certainly has the dark hair, serious expression and comic timing for the role. But as Han Solo is the consummate “bad company”, Hoult might come off as too benign.
Josh Hutcherson – Age: 20
Hutcherson, like Hoult, is at the young end of the spectrum, but he’s proving himself to be a potential force to be reckoned with in Hollywood already, and could grow into a Han that’s rugged and charming enough, without losing the likability.
Liam Hemsworth – Age: 23
It would probably be overkill to get older brother Chris for Han – playing one interstellar charming rogue is enough – but Liam isn’t a shabby actor at all. He has the physicality, the acting chops and the mainstream familiarity to pull it off, while giving off a slightly more mature vibe than Hutcherson.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Age: 31
Hey! It’s a casting rumor for a young male lead! Levitt’s name is bound to come up at some point anyway, so let’s just get it out of the way. But then again, he could fit. A little scrawny, yes, but Looper showed that he can lead an action film with ease.
Ryan Gosling – Age: 32
Because Ryan Gosling, that’s why. Man, wouldn’t that be something. The teenage girl in me is fainting right now.
Jake Gyllenhaal – Age: 32
He’s a damn good actor, and even though some of his recent films have underperformed (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia), he still delivers every time. Plus, anyone who thinks he takes himself too seriously should watch this. And this.
Who do YOU want to see play Han Solo? Tell us.