Tupac Shakur Came This Close to Playing a Jedi In ‘Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace’
By Scott T. Sterling
It’s no secret that at the time of his death, legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was making serious moves in Hollywood, scoring starring roles in such high-profile movies as Juice and Poetic Justice. According to a former employee for Shakur’s one-time record label Death Row, the rapper was preparing to become a bona fide Jedi Master with an alleged audition for George Lucas himself in hopes of landing the part of “Mace Windu” in Stars Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace that eventually went to actor Samuel L. Jackson.
The intergalactic revelation came from Death Row’s former chief engineer Rick Clifford during an interview with 2pac-forum.com.
“It’s sad because ‘Pac found out that I worked for Brian Austin Green. who was on (Beverly Hills) 90210, then he found out I was in some movies. So we always talked about his film career and stuff,” Clifford explained during the interview with the site. “He was telling me that he was supposed to read for George Lucas and them. They wanted him to be a Jedi. Yes, I’m serious — Samuel L. got Tupac’s part.
“Yeah, he called me ‘Old Man,’” Clifford added. “He said ‘Old Man, keep your fingers crossed, I got three movies coming up. One of them I gotta read for George Lucas’.”
Filming for the movie commenced in June of 1997, with Shakur’s untimely shooting death coming at the hands of still-unknown assailants in Las Vegas during September 1996 at the age of 25.
Actors Will Ferrell and David Koechner recently discussed meeting and working with Shakur when he appeared on Saturday Night Live in February of 1996, just a few months before his passing.
“Counter to his persona, he was this sweet, kind of mellow guy,” Farrell recalled while promoting Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. “That’s the lasting image I have of him, being very polite and saying hello to everyone.”