Al Pacino turned down playing Han Solo in Star Wars

Al Pacino in The Godfather and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm)

From The Godfather to the galaxy far, far away? That could have been Al Pacino's career trajectory, as the actor recently claimed that he was offered a role in the first Star Wars movie. 

"I turned down Star Wars. When I first came up, I was the new kid on the block, you know what happens when you first become famous. It’s like, 'Give it to Al.' They’d give me Queen Elizabeth to play," Pacino said during a recent talk in New York City (via Variety). "They gave me a script called Star Wars… They offered me so much money. I don’t understand it. I read it… So I said I couldn’t do it. I gave Harrison Ford a career."

The reference to Ford implies that he was offered the role of Han Solo in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. At that time, Pacino had only recently made his movie debut in 1969 in the film Me, Natalie – 1972's The Godfather was his third role. 

He played Michael Corleone in the critically acclaimed trilogy and elsewhere in the talk he claimed that the first movie is better than the second, despite popular opinion of the inverse. "The Godfather is more entertaining. Godfather 2 is this study, this personal thing for Francis [Ford Coppola]," he said "Godfather 1, I saw it recently, it’s always got two or three things going on in a scene. You’re always in the story, you’re going. You don’t know what’s going to happen next."

For more on the galaxy far, far away, check out our guide to all the new Star Wars movies and TV shows coming our way in 2023 and beyond. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.