Someone Used a Deep Learning AI to Perfectly Insert Harrison Ford Into Solo: A Star Wars Story

Who’s scruffy-looking?
Gif: YouTube

Casting anyone other than Harrison Ford in the role of Han Solo just feels like sacrilege, but since Ford is now 76 years old, playing a younger version of himself would be all but impossible. Or at least impossible if you rely on the standard Hollywood de-aging tricks like makeup and CG. Artificial intelligence, it turns out, does a pretty amazing job at putting Ford back into the role of Solo.

The YouTube channel “derpfakes” has been posting videos that demonstrate the impressive, and at times frightening, capabilities of image processing using artificial intelligence. Using a process called deep learning, an AI analyzes a large collection of photos of a given person, creating a comprehensive database of them in any almost any position and pose. It then uses that database to intelligently perform an automatic face replacement on a source clip, in this case replacing actor Alden Ehrenreich’s face with Harrison Ford’s.


As we’ve seen before, like when deep learning was used to erase actor Henry Cavill’s Justice League mustache, the results are not only good, they’re actually better than the visual trickery that Hollywood visual effects studios are capable of.



Ironically, this just reinforces how good a choice Alden was. At least as far as his looks go.

Yes, the nose and jaw are Harrison’s, but it makes him look too old for the time period. Especially next to Lando. So it makes you think about how that face would look if it were 10~20 years younger and... oh, it’s a spitting image of Alden Ehrenreich.

He just needed to not be grinning from ear to ear nearly as much. He just needed to not be so damn giddy all the time. The face and voice were fine, it was how he carried the character that was the furthest departure from Harrison Ford’s “Han... Hm! Solo.”