Harrison Ford. I can’t imagine anyone else as Han Solo, so when news broke that he’s reprising his role as Mr. Solo in the coming years, it was the only sign I needed to know that the new Star Wars trilogy is right on track to greatness. But can you imagine what would happen if they replaced him with another actor? Well, it turns out that was the original plan for the first Star Wars film from the 60s.
Harrison Ford was not meant to work on Star Wars. In fact, George Lucas hired him to build office cabinets. Ford, though an aspiring actor, made his living as a carpenter at the time.
Lucas actually knew Ford as an employee from the studio, and he was rather comfortable in Ford’s presence since they would often have to work around each other.
That’s why he asked for Ford’s assistance when casting the role of Princess Leia. He needed someone to read Solo’s lines for the auditioning actresses.
At first, Ford didn’t have a problem with the work, but volunteering the long repetitive hours for a role he thought he’d never play rubbed him the wrong way – as it would anyone else. Naturally, he was irritated with Lucas, but it’s that attitude that sold Ford. By the time casting for Leia was complete, Lucas couldn’t envision anyone else as Solo. The rest is history. Know more.
Bonus round: Lucas casted groups, not single actors, which means if the original trio didn’t work out (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford), he had a backup team ready to go. His second group consisted of Christopher Walken, Will Selzer and Terri Nunn. Just imagine that Star Wars film!