It's hard to get more iconic than Star Wars, and even harder to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo, pilot of the Millennium Falcon or Carrie Fisher donning the iconic Princess Leia do. Fans love the actors who have become immortalized as characters from a galaxy far, far away, but believe it or not other stars also auditioned for the classic roles, and almost landed the parts. That's right: there are actors who were almost in Star Wars that aren't Carrie Fisher or Hayden Christensen.
When I hear that an actor turned down the role of Han Solo, I imagine that he would be kicking himself, much like Pete Best did after leaving The Beatles. But the truth is, the names who almost got credited in the George Lucas films are names you definitely know anyway. These celebrities may not have gotten the chance to play Jedi, but they have their own host of iconic roles on their resumes.
But nevertheless, it's pretty crazy to picture these people playing the characters we know so well. Can you imagine how different the movies would have been if these actors had graced the screen?
1Jodi Foster as Princess Leia
It's pretty hard to think of anyone but Carrie Fisher rocking the double side bun or the gold bikini. But Jodi Foster was asked to play the role, and had to decline the offer due to scheduling. At the time, Foster was just a young teenager, though, so with the changes in casting the conception of the film changed as well.
2Sylvester Stallone as Han Solo
Picturing Sylvester Stallone as the galaxy badass Han Solo paints a very different movie than the one we know. Maybe you hear things like "Yo Leia!", or imagine how the character would have been different if he had an Italian mother. Even Stallone himself knows that he would have never been right for the role — but it's still interesting to imagine an alternate universe where Rocky is best friends with Luke Skywalker.
3Mel Blanc as C3-PO
You may know Mel Blanc as the voice of basically every old school cartoon character, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble and Tweety Bird to name a few. (Seriously, only a few. This guy's resume is insane.) He auditioned to voice everyone's favorite paranoid droid as well, but the voice role eventually went to the actor who was physically portrayed C3-PO.
4Paul Waker as Anakin Skywalker
Had this casting worked out, the movie would have been like The Fast And The Furious: The Final Frontier. But alas, the late heartthrob did not win the role of young Vader — he was deemed too old.
5Benicio Del Toro as Darth Maul
6Karen Allen as Princess Leia
7Steve Martin as Han Solo
Things would have been very different had Steve Martin been the pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Han Solo was funny for sure, but the slapstick humor Martin would have probably provided would have been a stark contrast to the dry wit Ford gave us. Lines like "I love you," "I know," would have come out very differently.
8Leonardo DiCaprio as Anikan Skywalker
Leonardo DiCaprio had a meeting with George Lucas about starring as Anikan, but decided to turn down the role. His career seems to still be doing fine, though.
9Al Pacino as Han Solo
Al Pacino is easily one of the greatest actors of all time, so of course he could have pulled off the role of Han Solo. So why did he turn down the role, then? Well, apparently he didn't understand the script.
10Orson Wells as Darth Vader
In a 2011 interview with BBC, James Earl Jone revealed that Lucas originally considered Orson Welles to voice Darth Vader, but thought his voice was too recognizable for audience members to separate the actor from the character. And while I'm sure Wells would have done a terrific job, I can't imagine anyone wheezing "Luke, I am your father" better than Jones.
11Jack Nicholson as Han Solo
A 2014 Vanity Fair article revealed that Jack Nicholson was one of the many actors considered for Han Solo. Had he played the part, he would have definitely added a quirky (and even more sardonic) touch to the character.
12Michael Jackson as Jar Jar Binks
Rolling Stones reported that Michael Jackson really wanted the role of Jar Jar Binks. The thing is — this would have worked. It might have even saved those movie.
13Christopher Walken as Han Solo
I don't think anyone would have been more different than Ford than Christopher Walken. What a bizarre Han Solo we would have come to love had Walken earned the part.
Despite all of the actors who almost played Han, I have to say, I'm pretty grateful Ford ended up portraying the cocky but lovable character. Who knows how the movies would have gone with these alternative castings, but they're pretty perfect as they are (the original three, at least), so I wouldn't have changed a thing, even with all these amazing celebrities in the running.