Sometime before his death, Tupac Shakur reportedly auditioned to play Jedi Master Mace Windu in the 1999 movie Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Rick Clifford, who worked as an engineer at Death Row Records, said in a recent interview for the website 2Pac-Forum that Shakur told him he had gone for a reading with George Lucas but that the part went to Samuel L. Jackson. (Incidentally, Jackson appeared in the 1992 movie Juice alongside the rapper.)
Although the period in which Shakur would have auditioned for Lucas is not clear, shooting on Episode I began in June 1997, less than a year after the rapper’s murder in September 1996.
“‘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. “He was telling me that he was supposed to read for George Lucas and them. They wanted him to be a Jedi. I’m serious. Samuel L. [Jackson] 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.'”
Shakur acted in seven movies in his lifetime. Among them were starring roles in 1993’s Poetic Justice, opposite Janet Jackson, and in 1994’s Above the Rim. Three films – Bullet, Gridlock’d and Gang Related – came out posthumously in 1996 and 1997.
According to the New York Daily News, Lucasfilm has yet to comment on Shakur’s association with the franchise.