7. Qui-Gon Jinn (Tom Hanks)
Rumors have often suggested that before Liam Neeson was cast, George Lucas was originally searching for an American actor to portray Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Among the names that have been speculated on, which included Kurt Russell and Kyle MacLachlan, was Tom Hanks. Yes, the one and only Tom Hanks who embodies “America’s Dad” in every role he’s been seen in.
While we may not have confirmation about whether Tom Hanks auditioned for the prequel trilogy, we do know that his son Colin Hanks auditioned for Anakin Skywalker!
During an interview, the younger Hanks said, “I met with a casting director, along with every other actor in my age group. That was it. But I did know the actor who was auditioning after me, and he mentioned it [to a reporter], and suddenly they were saying ‘Tom Hanks’ son in the running to play Darth Vader!’ That might be the only press clipping I ever put up on my fridge.”
Wouldn’t that have been something if Tom Hanks had been cast as Qui-Gon Jinn, only to later have his son take on the role of Anakin Skywalker? That would’ve added layers to the tragedy of Qui-Gon Jinn’s death.