There may be some alternate reality where Harrison Ford is known for wearing a rubber mask and killing promiscuous teenagers, but in our plane of existence, Englund didn't get the part of Solo. The reason? "Too young."
21st Century Film Corporation
Pro and/or Con: The Freddy Krueger R&B album might not have existed.
But Englund's connection with Star Wars didn't end there. Like any working actor, he had some random young dude sleeping on his couch. After splitting a six-pack with him, Englund happened to mention that the movie also had a teenage hero role he should go after. Oh, and that drunken couch-surfer's name happened to be Mark Hamill. So while Englund didn't land a job, he did put his mark on the classic trilogy by suggesting that his deadbeat houseguest sober up, wash the Cheeto crumbs off his hands, put on some damn pants, and go embody the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.
Michael Jackson Really, Really Wanted To Play Jar Jar Binks
While the fanboy community has come to consensus that Jar Jar Binks ruined Star Wars, our childhoods, and even the glass containers that hold jam, we have news for you: It was almost even worse. Like, "Watzupwitu" worse.
This bit of info comes straight from the source: Jar Jar himself. Ahmed Best provided the voice and motion capture work for Jar Jar. He was committed to the point that he wore a Jar Jar costume on set, which either helped the other actors get into character or tipped them off that George Lucas was about to take a steaming dump on his own legacy.
Note Natalie Portman in the background, calculating how many guards she'd have to tackle to make a run for it.
Best was recruited for the film after performing in Stomp, but unbeknownst to him, the man who was at one point the biggest superstar in the world was actively pursuing the role of Jar Jar. While at a Michael Jackson concert with Lucas, Portman, and Lucas' kids, Best and the gang went backstage to meet the King of Pop. Lucas introduced Best to Jackson as "Jar Jar." Which seems like a weird thing to do, but remember that this is the guy who thought that a Howard The Duck movie wouldn't be a creepy shitshow.
After Jackson got awkward and left, Best asked Lucas what the hell was going on. Lucas responded: "Well, Michael wanted to do the part, but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like Thriller." Lucas was being a dick and making Jackson feel shitty that he didn't get his dream role, in other words.
This is from back when he made Jackson think he could play Darth Vader.
So there it is. Michael Jackson wanted to be Jar Jar Binks. This never came to pass, either because having Jackson's familiar high-pitched voice would have been super-distracting, or because putting Jar Jar in prosthetics wouldn't gel with George's vision of making everything in the movie look like a depressingly hollow shell of reality. Thankfully, this meant that nine-year-old Anakin wasn't forced to wear a creepy veil when going out in public.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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