See Kurt Russell Audition For Star Wars In Rare Video

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

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A long time ago, in a galaxy known as California, future Tron star Kurt Russell auditioned for the role of Han Solor in a little movie called Star Wars, and boy is that footage something!

You would expect the star of the audition to be the novelty of seeing Kurt Russell recite dialogue from Star Wars. Instead, what immediately stands out is said dialogue—and how bad it is!

Check out Kurt Russell auditioning for Star Wars below.

Harrison Ford once lovingly teased George Lucas on the set of A New Hope by telling him, “George, you can type this sh*t, but you sure can’t say it!

For years, fans assumed that Ford was exaggerating about the somewhat stilted dialogue that actually ended up in the movie. It becomes immediately apparent upon watching the Kurt Russell Star Wars audition footage that Ford was referring to one of the earlier drafts of the script.

Kurt Russell auditioned for Star Wars with George Lucas’s original script

Another thing Kurt Russell’s audition brings to light is the process by which George names everything in Star Wars. Watching Russell and an unnamed script partner discussing the destruction of “Organa Major” makes it clear that Lucas would invent names that he thought sounded cool and then just plug them in anywhere until they fit.

That’s the only real explanation for him changing Organa Major to Alderaan for the final script and instead using Organa for Princess Leia’s last name.

Star Wars went through many changes over the years, specifically when it came to the names.

Evidence of this practice is everywhere in Star Wars. Mace Windu went from Luke’s name to the name of a Jedi in the prequels. Anakin’s last name went from Starkiller to Skywalker, with Starkiller instead being used for Darth Vader’s apprentice in Legends and the Starkiller base in The Force Awakens.

Hearing Kurt Russell speak words that we recognize from Star Wars but for the wrong things hammers home how little names mattered to George.

As for Kurt Russell’s performance, well, it’s kind of hard to judge. You get the sense that he has the appropriate swagger for the role, but…that dialogue! We don’t want to keep beating a dead Tauntaun, but it’s hard to concentrate on anything else in the clip.

Kurt Russell’s Star Wars audition is hard to judge because of the changes made

When discussing a reward for rescuing Princess Leia, Kurt Russell’s Han Solo is told he’ll be able to name his reward, to which Russell responds, “Anything I want? That’s interesting.”

Compare this to the scene as it is in A New Hope where Luke tells Han the reward will be more than he can imagine. “I don’t know, I can imagine a lot!” Harrison Ford says cockily, once again, displaying what a self-centered, greedy rogue Han Solo is at the beginning of the Star Wars saga.

Kurt Russell Star wars

Make no mistake, the dialogue in A New Hope isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but it’s a heck of a lot better than what Kurt Russell had to work with for his Star Wars audition.

Roles like Snake Plisken from Escape From New York and Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China prove that Kurt Russell is more than capable of delivering a Han Solo-worthy performance

Had Kurt been given the final script, who knows, we may have had a different Han Solo, and Harrison Ford’s career trajectory would have been completely different. Roles like Snake Plisken from Escape From New York and Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China prove that Kurt Russell is more than capable of delivering a Han Solo-worthy performance.

Then again, Harrison Ford got the role by reciting the same stiff, exposition-heavy dialogue, so maybe he has something Kurt Russell doesn’t, after all. Either way, it worked out.

If Harrison hadn’t gotten the role there wouldn’t have been an Indiana Jones. If Kurt Russell had gotten Star Wars, he wouldn’t have been available for John Carpenter’s The Thing, easily his best role to date.

Maybe the Force is real, after all.