Before becoming the most beloved archaeologist adventurer in fiction, Harrison Ford initially rose to stardom thanks to the role of Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy. And while the Indiana Jones Star didn’t exactly enjoy being referred to as Han Solo for the major part of his career, he still remains grateful to the franchise, which kickstarted a new chapter in the realm of sci-fi.
However, the producers didn’t have a young Ford in mind from the get-go to tackle the iconic character, as they initially aimed to attach a big name to the project, which involved Al Pacino.
Al Pacino Rejected Han Solo Despite Being Offered Healthy Payday
Five years prior to Star Wars’ debut, Al Pacino became one of the most renowned stars of the ’70s, following the success of The Godfather and its sequel, often considered some of the greatest films ever made. So it’s not surprising why George Lucas and the studios were adamant about getting the actor onboard to kickstart the ambitious project. But as the story goes, the actor rejected the offer despite being offered a hefty payday. And the reasoning behind his rejection was quite similar to why Sir Sean Connery rejected The Matrix and LOTR, as he didn’t understand the script.
Joking about the matter at the London Palladium in 2013 (Via Entertainment.ie), he said,
“I gave that boy [Bruce] a career. You know who else I gave a career to? Harrison Ford in ‘Star Wars’. That role was mine for the taking but I couldn’t understand the script.”
Although it’s reasonable to assume the Scarface Star too would’ve nailed the role, considering Han Solo kickstarted Harrison Ford’s ascend to the top, fans remain grateful for how things worked out.
Harrison Ford Wasn’t Initially Invested in Han Solo
While Harrison Ford reluctantly signed in for the entire trilogy, the Oscar-nominated Star wasn’t fully invested in his character from the get-go. The Witness Star explained that Han Solo was too flat as a character and was only there to support Luke Skywalker’s story, revealing that he wanted his character to be killed off after the first film. Per Westworld, Ford said,
“I thought Han Solo should die. I thought he ought to sacrifice himself for [Luke and Leia]. He’s got no mama. He’s got no papa. He’s got no future. He has no story responsibilities at this point. So let’s allow him to commit self-sacrifice.”
Fortunately, that didn’t end up being the case, as the later entries witnessed a more thorough dive into the character of Han Solo, who became a fan-favorite of the iconic IP.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is currently streaming on Disney Plus.