As kickass as lightsabers and space battles are, it's the casting that made Star Wars such a lasting success. The fact that these actors could read George Lucas' lines believably is what elevated that first movie from "really nice Power Rangers episode" to "instant classic." Think about it. Can you imagine anyone else playing Luke Skywalker or Han Solo? Can you even picture a movie where Princess Leia isn't Carrie Fisher, or where Luke's best friend Biggs isn't played by the pizza delivery guy from every '70s porno?
The name "Biggs" came with his contract.
Of course you can't, and not just because television and smartphones have irradiated your imagination out of existence. Those roles are iconic. But a long time ago, in some shitty production office far, far away, the cast of the Star Wars saga wasn't set in carbonite. And it was almost pretty damn different ...
Tupac Shakur Reportedly Read For The Part Of Mace Windu
It's a little-known fact that Samuel L. Jackson's character in the Star Wars prequels wasn't named "Jedi Master Sam Jackson," and was in fact a scripted character called "Mace Windu." Proof of that? Other people totally auditioned for the part ... including, apparently, Tupac. Yes, that Tupac -- the State Senator from Michigan.
Kidding. We meant the guy you were really thinking about.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Help me, Obi-Wan Keno-- Ehh, you know what, I got this."
According to Rick Clifford, an engineer at Death Star Row records, while chatting about upcoming movie projects in 1996, Tupac let it slip that he was about to read for a part in the new George Lucas film -- which turned out to be a little movie called Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace II Society. Tupac would have been an ideal candidate for the CGI-saturated production, having previous experience acting opposite basically nothing.