Star Wars fans may have come to know Harrison Ford as the face of Han Solo, however, it seems like George Lucas had once considered a black actor for the role of the iconic smuggler.
Though The Wire and Gremlins star Glynn Turman may remember how he had been called in to audition for the original 1977 Star Wars movie, the actor had no idea at the time that he was actually trying out for the part of Han Solo. Nor did he know that he was so close to getting the part.
Speaking in an interview with Creative Loafing, the African American actor revealed how he had learned that Lucas had actually been considering him for the role, only to set him aside because the director wanted to avoid controversy.
"That was in George Lucas' book. Apparently George Lucas 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 read his book and said, 'What?' I'm waiting to run into Harrison Ford and get my cut of his career!"
There was a lot of prejudice against interracial relationships back in 70's and while Star Wars does have a lot of political nuances, the franchise does tend to veer away from direct and heavy handed social commentary, favoring the general presentation of the battle between forces of good and evil. Though Ford's version of Han Solo remains as classic as ever, it's also interesting to imagine what the smuggler would have been like if he had been played by Turman.