Tupac Shakur reportedly auditioned for a role as a Jedi in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
The late rapper is said to have read for the part of Jedi Master Mace Windu, but lost the role to Samuel L. Jackson.
Death Row Records engineer Rick Clifford said that he and Tupac often talked about his burgeoning film career.
“‘Pac found out that I worked for Brian Austin Green, who was on 90210, then he found out I [worked on] some movies, so we always talked about his film career and stuff,” Clifford said.
“They wanted him to be a Jedi. I’m serious,” he added. “Samuel L. got Tupac’s part. [Tupac] said [to me], ‘Old man, keep your fingers crossed’. He said, ‘I’ve got three movies coming up. One of them, I’ve got to read for George Lucas.’”
Filming for Star Wars: Episode I began in 1997, a year after Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old, who began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC for Digital Underground, appeared in seven movies before his death, but his first starring role was in his second film, Juice. Tupac played Bishop, a member of The Wrecking Crew, a group of four friends from Harlem. Of the four, Bishop is the most violent, even telling Q. (Omar Epps), “You’re right. I am crazy. But you know what else? I don’t give a f**k.”
Tupac’s next role was opposite Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice. The following year, he starred in Above the Rim opposite Duane Martin. He had an uncredited role in Murder Was the Case: The Movie, and Bullet was released one month after his death in 1996. His penultimate film, Gridlock’d, which also starred Tim Roth and Thandie Newton, was released four months after his death. His final film, Gang Related, in which he played Det. Jake Rodriguez, was released in 1997.
As for Star Wars, the next film in the franchise, Star Wars: Episode VII, is scheduled to be released on December 18, 2015.
[Photo credit: Tupac Amaru Shakur / Flickr]