Al Pacino refused the best Star Wars role because it was too confusing

After starring in The Godfather movies, Al Pacino turned down the best role in Star Wars, simply because he found the script too confusing.

Al Pacino in classic action movie Heat

There is an alternate universe out there, somewhere, in which Al Pacino starred as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies. However, in this one, he turned the role down because the script was too confusing.


Al Pacino is one of the most influential actors of the 20th century, best known for his starring role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather 2 – arguably the best movies of all time. Around that time, the actor has described being, “offered everything,” and he was one of the most in-demand actors around.

One of the directors who tried to snag him in the aftermath of the success of The Godfather was George Lucas. Lucas wanted Pacino to take on the role of everyone’s favourite scruffy-looking nerf herder Han Solo. However, despite the offer of the part, Pacino rejected the role out of sheer confusion.

Speaking at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014 (via The Independent) Pacino explained his decision, saying, “I remember not [understanding the script] when I read it. I was in The Godfather. They didn’t care if I was right or wrong for the role, if I could act or not act.”

YouTube Thumbnail

Rather than taking on the science fiction movie franchise and joining the Star Wars cast, Pacino instead chose to take on other crime thriller movies in the same vein as The Godfather, with Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, and Heat standing out as especially notable entries.

You can see why Lucas saw Pacino as a great option for Han Solo, with his role in The Godfather proving that he could combine charisma and style, alongside a background of crime. Still, we’re grateful that the Star Wars character was ultimately played by Indiana Jones movie star Harrison Ford, who truly embodies the role. For more on Star Wars, check out our guide to the best Star Wars villains.