20. Anakin Skywalker (Heath Ledger)
Following Hayden Christensen’s casting in 2000, multiple reports noted the long list of actors who had been considered for the role of Anakin Skywalker. One of those names included the late Heath Ledger, though Lucasfilm representatives at the time denied auditioning any of the names on the rumored list. The actor was also three years older than Natalie Portman, which may have made the age difference between Anakin and Padmé less believable.
In an archived article from StarWars.com, the film’s casting director Robin Gurland explained that she auditioned over 1,500 actors for the role and that ultimately Hayden Christensen was the Chosen One. “When Hayden came for his first meeting […] I just knew that Anakin had walked in the door. I literally picked up the phone and called George and said, ‘Anakin just walked in.’”
Instead of appearing in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, we had the pleasure of seeing him in his roles in The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale, and many more that would have never been had he been cast in the franchise.
While this claim is all speculation, after seeing Heath Ledger bring the Joker to life in Christopher Nolan’s Batman: The Dark Knight, it does make one reflect on how Ledger would have portrayed Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side.