A lot of the images we're using here come from Dark Horse Comics' adaptation of the original screenplay for "The Star Wars," assembled by writer J.W. Rinzler and artist Mike Mayhew. If this article piques your interest, check out the graphic novel!
Luke Skywalker went through a healthy chunk of revisions before becoming the blonde baby face we all know and love. At one point he was actually a she, simply called Starkiller, and then a bearded and grizzled General Luke Skywalker. So, like modern-day Mark Hamill, basically.
The name Starkiller actually made it most of the way through A New Hope's production. It got the axe not from George Lucas, but from 20th Century Fox. Apparently they weren't happy with one of their heroes having a name that implied he could kill billions of people.
Beardwalker actually had next to nothing to do with his cinematic namesake. He was, in fact, a stand-in for one Obi-Wan Kenobi. In "The Star Wars," Luke sets out to train Annikin Starkiller (there's that name again) whose father was a cyborg and former Jedi. Yep! Annikin Starkiller is actually the Luke character, rather than Luke.
In fact, George Lucas remixed names like an anti-copyright activist. Leia Organa, for instance, was once Leia Antilles of the planet Organa Major.
The same goes for the Starkiller brand. While it never made it into the final cut the worrisome surname made it into all manner of extended universe material. There's Windy Starkiller, the supposed childhood friend of the canonical Luke, the Starkiller superweapon from the Clone Wars era, and a whole rash of other minor characters with the moniker. The real EU standout, however, was Galen Malek: Darth Vader's secret apprentice from The Force Unleashed video games.
Lucas liked TFU's Starkiller so much that he became canon. Until, you know, he wasn't anymore.
Han Solo, the puckish rogue with a heart of gold is basically the cookie cutter from which all puckish rogues are made. It didn't hurt his chances that he was played by perennial mumble-mouth Harris on Ford, who may be the only individual in cinematic history to pull off an open vest. Besides Aladdin, of course.
None of that would have been possible with his original conception. This version had more in common with the Swamp Thing than Indiana Jones.
The Star Wars' Han Solo was a Ureallian; a green-skinned, ridge-nosed, seven-foot alien whose people were best known hunting Wookiees. Not totally dissimilar from the Trandoshans that eventually made their way into the original film trio. Though in fairness Wookiees of the day weren't the cuddly, walking carpets you'd recognize. Chewbacca and his ilk were also quite different: bug-eyed and bald, with Yoda grade ears and gawping mouths.
Solo's appearance and demeanor didn't sit well Lucas. He ultimately decided that the smuggler should be human. In this way he could relate better to his human cohorts. And so Chewbacca, who only appeared in the script's last gasp to lead a Wookiee fleet against the unnamed Death Star, became the permanent alien sidekick with a penchant for violence.
And yet again we have a terminal case of name dislocation. Urellian, also spelled Yourellian, isn't that phonetically far off from Corellian. That is to say the label given to residents of Corellia, where the finished and chiseled Han Solo product was manufactured.