Since the “Star Wars” saga is set a long, long time ago, it’s fitting that it features old cars.
Ron Howard, director of the upcoming “Han Solo” installment in the series, rang in 2018 by tweeting out a photo of the worn interior of what is presumably one of the landspeeders from the film that shows a steering wheel, gear shift lever and an instrument cluster that wouldn’t look out of place in an earthbound custom car.
That’s because that’s exactly what it is.
The X-34 that Luke Skywalker sold for the credits to buy a ride on the Millennium Falcon in “A New Hope” was really just a three-wheel Bond Bug with a new body that had wheels hidden or removed through camera tricks and special effects. Spy shots from the set of the new movie that were printed in the Daily Echo earlier this year caught several wheeled vehicles cruising around with landspeeder-looking bodies. One of them driven by Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the young Solo, even vaguely resembles a Chrysler Turbine Car.
That particular vehicle, which was quite compact, had a fully circular steering wheel, while the one in the tweet was a cutaway, so it may not be from the same one. However, the set photos were taken before Ron Howard took over production from the film’s original directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and did extensive additional shooting. Howard previously shared an image of a speeder that'd been burned to the ground.
Whoever it is that's behind the wheel has also been treated to quilted upholstery and a snazzy pair of driving gloves. There’s also a screen on the center console that looks a lot like the targeting computer from an X-Wing fighter, which may explain what the two red buttons on the steering wheel are for.
Hopefully we’ll find out on May 25, when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters.