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Han Solo got duped into giving a strange old man and cocky young farm boy a ride in the original script for Star Wars: A New Hope. And in honor of Harrison Ford’s 75th birthday Thursday, it’s time to take a look back on what could have been.
In the final version of the 1977 classic, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and overly eager Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) agreed to give Solo (Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) an upfront amount, plus a handsome sum afterward, for a lift to Alderaan. Han only agreed to help when they got in deeper after he discovered that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) was wealthy, ensuring that he’d be paid even more than they bargained for in the Cantina. Neither Obi-Wan nor Luke seemed shifty in the least.
But in an earlier draft, Solo got played like a kloo horn. As is revealed in Ford’s Star Wars audition with Hamill, that section was almost completely changed for the theatrical edition.
Here’s how the original went. After Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, Solo just wanted his money and to be done. But it wasn’t that simple. It appears Solo was told by his passengers that they had the whole amount on them and it would just be a matter of handing it over when they reached their destination.
“I’m not going to take you on an impossible chase across the galaxy,” Solo began. “I was paid to bring you here, and now you’re here. Give me my other 5,000 and I will be on my way.”
Luke responded, “You can’t. We’ve come this far. We must find them.”
Solo asked why.
“Well, for one reason, we don’t have your other 5,000,” a sheepish Luke said. And when Solo demanded to know who will pay him, Luke replied, “I think there are some things we should talk about.”
Solo ended the scene with: “I’m beginning not to like you.”
It is common knowledge that Ford was not even close to director George Lucas’ first choice for the role, but he earned the right to play Solo by demonstrating he completely understood the character while sitting in to read with other actors for their respective parts.
The only thing better than the video is the tweet Hamill sent out to Ford, wishing his pal a happy birthday.
Watch the full scene below.
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