George Lucas had another actor in mind for Han Solo

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Star Wars creator George Lucas originally wanted a different actor to play Han Solo.

Harrison Ford of course took on the iconic role, but he wasn’t the first actor that Lucas had in mind. As it turns out that he was considering a more diverse cast, with African-American actor Glynn Turman almost landing the part.

Turman is remembered best for 1984’s Gremlins. 

Turman recalled how close he was to playing Han, telling Empire and Creative Loafing:

“In those days it said ‘black actor’, ‘white actor’, ‘Hispanic actor’ for every role, but it didn’t say either for the Han Solo part. It didn’t specify ‘black actor’. I was rather pleased because I was just being called in as a talent. I remember George was very professional. We were all young then, so I thought he was this young guy doing his thing and I was impressed with that. He didn’t seem ‘Hollywoodish’. He seemed like a regular guy, which made him easier to talk to.”

“George had me in mind for the role, and then thought that there might be too much controversy between a white Princess Leia and a black Han Solo – because those were the times – and he didn’t want to get into that. At the time, I had no idea. I just went to the audition, did it and got out of there. Years later, I’m waiting to run into Harrison Ford and get my cut of his career!”

Turman more recently starred in 2011’s Super 8.

“George thought that there might be too much controversy between a white Princess Leia and a black Han Solo”

How very different Star Wars could have been, had Lucas taken more of a risk! And we’ll see the character on screen once again with the young Han Solo spin-off arriving in 2018.

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