With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now in theatres, here's a quick reminder that there was only ever one man who could take on the likes of Han Solo, and that's Harrison Ford. Which is truly bad news for whatever unlucky soul gets cast in the character's spin-off origin story.
The surfaced footage of Ford's audition shows him performing across from Mark Hamill's Luke in a once-extended scene in which both characters attempt to determine the cause of Alderaan's obliterated state.
Even here, so early in the process, Ford has instantly captured all that effortless charm, humour, and raw authenticity of his delivery; those magical ingredients which have made Solo such an iconic character in cinematic history.
That said, Solo wasn't always meant to be the dashing rogue we know today. George Lucas' 1974 rough draft of the film actually called for a giant, green-skinned-and-gilled alien who severely lacked in the nasal department. After that, he became a rakishly dressed pirate. It took until Lucas' third draft for the Solo we love to finally evolve, the "cowboy in a starship - simple, sentimental, and cocksure of himself."
Even then, Ford's path to the role wasn't entirely easy. Previously working largely as a stagehand and carpenter, with only bit parts as an actor, Ford caught Lucas' eye after featuring in his 1973 film American Grafitti.
But to land Solo, Ford had to outshine the likes of Billy Dee Williams (who was eventually cast as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back), Chevy Chase, Kurt Russell, Bill Murray, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, and Sylvester Stallone. Russell's audition has also hit the internet; his talents are obvious, but he certainly doesn't own the role like Ford.
While Ford is back for The Force Awakens, he's admitted in interviews Solo's future in uncertain. The character will, however, return for a solo prequel; directed by The Lego Movie's Christopher Miller and Phil Lord.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in theatres now.
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