What if you were forced to choose one or the other. I mean, how many actors get the chance to play one great character, let alone two? Not many. So which one would you choose, if you had to pick one. Cut Harrison Ford out as the redeemed scoundrel Han Solo or cast someone else to play the scrappy archeologist, Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones?
I always hoped one of the prequels would have a good focus on Han Solo. I would have loved to see How Solo met Chewbacca and won the Millennium Falcon away from Lando Calrissian in a game of chance.
First of all, who would we cast to play the vacated role? We can have some fun here. Harrison Ford was relatively unknown when he landed the spot for Star Wars and when Raiders of the Lost Ark came around, he wasn’t even the first choice by George Lucas (although Speilberg wanted him). That goes to Magnum P.I. actor, Tom Selleck. I think Selleck would have made a heck of an Indiana Jones myself.
For Han Solo there are a few actors we can choose from. You have to be scrappy, a little rugged, charming, yet a scoundrel. Mickey Rourke? Very charming, not much of a scoundrel. Hey, that’s why it’s called acting right? Eric Roberts? Kind of a badass. He might have been a little too young at the time (Ford was in his mid 30s by the time Star Wars hit the silver screen!) and not sure he could have ditched his charming southern accent!
Michael Douglas could have easily played Han Solo or Indiana Jones. His role as the hero for hire in Romancing the Stone was similar to both characters. Don Johnson from Miami Vice? Could the man who played detective James “Sonny” Crockett have been Han Solo? I think so! Bill Pullman played “Lone Starr” in the 1987 spoof of Star Wars, “Spaceballs”. Not sure he was quite Han Solo material though. Sorry Bill!
For Indiana Jones, I can’t really imagine many others doing it. Selleck or Douglass as I mentioned above, perhaps. I could even see Eric Roberts playing the charismatic Dr. Jones. I’m kind of glad the way it worked out. Harrison Ford is an iconic actor that was lucky enough to play two awesome characters. I feel fortunate for being able to see all of the films in the theater. Even the midnight showing of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!