The Real Reason Al Pacino Turned Down A Role In Star Wars

It's been over 40 years since George Lucas created movie history in a galaxy far, far away. The "Star Wars" franchise, which has seen nothing but success since the release of its first movie in 1977, began soon after Lucas garnered acclaim for the coming-of-age comedy "American Graffiti," (via The Indian Express). 

The movie was pitched to and rejected by many Hollywood studios before Fox decided to invest in Lucas' vision for sci-fi (via The New York Post). Lucas talked about the challenge of creating a fantasy world minus evolved technology to Wired, "I had to make it all believable somehow, even though it was completely ridiculous. I had to say, 'This is real. We fly around in spaceships with Wookiees – this is all real stuff, real people.' That was the hardest part."

He definitely convinced the box offices as did Harrison Ford's performance as Han Solo; the 1977 movie made $1.6 million on opening weekend (via Entertainment Weekly). However, Lucas revised many scripts, titles, and casting decisions before making the movie what it became (via The Take). One of which was casting Al Pacino as the protagonist.

Al didn't understand the Star Wars script

In the mid-1970s, Al Pacino was in demand after his work on "The Godfather" movies. Ironically, Lucas made Pacino an offer he could (and did) refuse (via LA Weekly). Lucas wanted Pacino to board the Millennium Falcon but the actor didn't understand the script. Pacino said, of the script, "I didn't get it. I didn't know why I'd do it. ... So I gave Harrison Ford his career! He owes me so big! I'm gonna have him pay me back. I'm gonna have him build my house."

According to Mashable, Ford stumbled upon the role only because producer Fred Roos believed he would be perfect for it. He hired Ford to build a door (he was also a carpenter) at the office where Lucas was holding casting calls with the intention of introducing the two. Hindsight says that it was definitely the right decision – Ford understood and loved the story. 

"You can have the best cast in the world, but they have a story to tell. The story we have was more than sufficient; full of humor and emotion and conflict. It's a brilliant invention of a mythology that has sustained interest for 40 years. Made up of whole cloth by George. An actor without a story to tell might as well go home. It was a brilliant opportunity for all," he said (via ScreenRant). Ultimately, there's nobody else we could envision as the iconic character.