Harrison Ford Wasn't Allowed to Audition for 'Star Wars', Here's How He Landed the Role

Harrison Ford became a superstar after his role as Han Solo in Star Wars. He is irreplaceable as the galactic smuggler, but he initially wasn’t allowed to audition for the role. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Here’s why director George Lucas didn’t allow Harrison Ford to audition for Star Wars

Harrison Ford worked with George Lucas before ‘Star Wars’

Before Ford landed the role of Han Solo, he had small roles in several movies and TV shows. He eventually began working as a self-trained carpenter until he was cast in a movie by Lucas. Lucas was working on his second movie, American Graffiti, and cast Ford in a supporting role. 

Ford played Bob Falfa, a driver who continuously challenges people to a drag race. While it’s not a role with a ton of lines, it still gave Ford a boost in his career. He later was cast in a small role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1974). When Lucas began making Star Wars, he asked for help from Ford, but he didn’t let him audition.

George Lucas did not allow Harrison Ford to audition for Han Solo

While Ford is perfect in the role of Han Solo, Lucas initially blocked him from even auditioning. However, Lucas was eventually convinced to allow him to play the role. According to IMDb, Lucas did not want to use any familiar faces that he previously worked with for American Graffiti.

So, Ford was not allowed to audition, but he was asked by Lucas to read lines with other actors who were auditioning for parts in Star Wars. While reading lines, Lucas realized that Ford was a better actor than everyone else auditioning, so he allowed Ford to play the part of Han Solo. He joined a cast that included Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. 

Ford only earned $10,000 for his part in Star Wars, but it ended up being the smartest decision of his career. Ford returned to the role of Han Solo almost 40 years after the original trilogy in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. He also had a small cameo role in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Fans were ecstatic to see him return and he continues to be a fan-favorite character. 

Ford and Lucas continued to work with each other on the ‘Indiana Jones’ movies

Ford became a star after his role in Star Wars. To capitalize on his fame, he was cast as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lucas returned to produce the film, while Steven Spielberg directed. The Indiana Jones franchise is one of the most successful franchises ever and is still going strong.

Ford recently wrapped up production on Indiana Jones 5. Spielberg did not return to direct this fifth entry and it is now directed by James Mangold. It is set to be released by Disney on June 30, 2023. Ford has reprised many of his roles from the 1970s and 1980s including Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049

Star Wars is currently streaming on Disney+. 

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