“That role was mine for the taking”: Harrison Ford’s Career-Defining Role in Star Wars Could Have Been Easily Lost To Al Pacino If Not For One Trivial Reason

Harrison Ford’s Career-Defining Role in Star Wars Could Have Been Easily Lost To Al Pacino If Not For One Trivial Reason
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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.

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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.

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Also read: “I’ll never be on the same level as Harrison ever”: Helen Mirren Was Deeply Affected by Harrison Ford Craze The First Time They Shared the Screen Together

Al Pacino
Al Pacino | The Godfather

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.

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Al Pacino
Al Pacino

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.

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Also read: “Harrison Ford is not a good name for you”: Indiana Jones Actor Came up With the Stupidest Idea After He Was Forced to Change His Name

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

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,

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“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.”

Also read: “I don’t want to be in his shadow”: Harrison Ford Needed to be Convinced to Work With Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive

Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Harrison Ford as Han Solo

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.

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Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is currently streaming on Disney Plus.

Source: Entertainment.ie, Westworld

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Written by Santanu Roy

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1000 articles.