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Rapper Tupac Shakur reportedly auditioned for a role in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Rick Clifford, a former Death Row Records engineer who worked with the late artist, let the surprise slip during an interview with a Tupac fan site.
Clifford told 2Pac-Forum.com that when Shakur heard that he had connections to Hollywood, they discussed his film career. At that point, Shakur said that he auditioned for a Jedi role in the then-new Star Wars movie. However, the role of Mace Windu ended up going to Samuel L. Jackson.
“It's sad because 'Pac found out that I worked for Brian Austin Green. who was on 90210, then he found out I was in some movies. So we always talked about his film career and stuff,” Clifford said, reports The New York Daily News. “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.”
He adds that Tupac told him, “Old Man, keep your fingers crossed, I got three movies coming up. One of them I gotta read for George Lucas.”
Lucasfilm hasn’t confirmed Clifford’s statements and Rolling Stone reports that it’s not clear when Tupac could have had this supposed table read with Lucas. The Phantom Menace wasn’t released until May 1999 and filming started on the movie in June 1997. That’s just months after Shakur was murdered in September 1996 at age 27.
Shakur was also in the news today because a Broadway musical based on his lyrics is set to open in June.