Some grew up wanting to become doctors, astronauts, musicians, actors. Others wanted to cure hunger, change the world and resculpt it in their image.

On the other hand, plenty just wanted to know what it was like to wield one of those lightsabers, or how it felt making the jump to hyperspace in the Falcon sat alongside Han, Chewie, and the gang.

Indeed, many would wholeheartedly argue that a childhood without Star Wars wasn’t a childhood at all.

George Lucas kicked off the franchise back in 1977 and A New Hope served as the introduction to the sci-fi behemoth for generations. In contrast to the beloved original trilogy, the prequels were much more divisive. Nevertheless, hopes were incredibly high when it was announced that a new trilogy was on the way, with J.J. Abrams helming the first installment.

Needless to say, A-list actors and everyday fans alike were enthusiastic about strapping in and venturing back to a galaxy far, far away. Although, the prospect of starring in the project was certainly more alluring than simply watching others live out your childhood dream.

The chance to be in The Force Awakens – who wouldn’t want to go for it?

It couldn’t have been easy to land a role. In fact, even Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Far From Home) didn’t manage to snag a part. This may come as quite a surprise; well, until you hear just how badly the audition went…

Screenshot: Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer

Tom Holland’s hilarious Star Wars audition

Now that we’re so familiar with John Boyega’s pitch-perfect portrayal of Stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter, Finn, it’s hard to imagine anybody else in the role.

Yet, just for a moment, envision Tom Holland tackling the part.

Interestingly, this could have been a reality. If he hadn’t totally tanked the audition that is.

While in conversation with Backstage, the 25-year-old English actor was asked about an audition horror story, and boy, did he give one:

“I remember my audition for Star Wars. I was like four or five auditions in, and I think I was auditioning for John Boyega’s role. I remember doing this scene with this lady, bless her, and she was just a drone. So I was doing all of this, like, ‘We gotta get back to the ship!’ And she was going, ‘Bleep, bloop bloop, bleep bloop.’”

Now, there are many things you shouldn’t do during an audition, but what would be the foremost? It’s surely not to break character, and definitely – like, seriously – do not drift into laughter.

“I just couldn’t stop laughing. I found it so funny. And I felt really bad, because she was trying really hard to be a convincing android or drone or whatever they’re called. Yeah, I obviously didn’t get the part. That wasn’t my best moment.”

Oh Tom, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Honestly, we feel we speak for all Spider-Man fans when we say we’re glad this wasn’t the case for his MCU audition though.

SPIDER-MAN: No Way Home | Official Teaser Trailer

SPIDER-MAN: No Way Home | Official Teaser Trailer

Tom’s not the only one

Over the decades, there have been a number of actors who missed out on being in the franchise, whether they weren’t chosen or decided to turn the opportunity down themselves.

There are some serious names too, and it’s really quite fun trying to imagine what the films would have looked like with these aboard.

Here are 10 actors who were almost on the ship, as highlighted by TIME:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: Offered the role of Anakin Skywalker
  • Jodie Foster: Was considered for Princess Leia
  • Michael Jackson: Wanted to play Jar Jar Binks
  • Al Pacino: Was considered for Han Solo
  • Saoirse Ronan: Auditioned for Rey
  • Kurt Russell: Was considered for Han Solo
  • Tupac Shakur: Reportedly read for the part of Mace Windu before his passing
  • Christoper Walken: Was considered for Han Solo
  • Paul Walker: Wanted to play Anakin Skywalker
  • Orson Welles: Was considered by George Lucas for Darth Vader

The web-slinger that may have been

Spider-Man is definitely Tom’s most iconic role to date and many Marvel fans think his portrayal of the masked hero is the best.

He triumphed over some serious talent to get there too, as ScreenRant includes that he was one of six actors who made it to the screen-test stage.

The other five hopefuls have been named as Asa Butterfield (Sex Education), Judah Lewis (The Babysitter), Matthew Lintz (Pixels), Charlie Plummer (All the Money in the World), and Charlie Rowe (Rocketman).

Of course, Tom came out on top and the rest is history. You can’t win them all!

Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives in cinemas on Friday, December 17th 2021.

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