Force Material Episode XXI: Star Wars on the Radio
In a week where the internet is aflame with debate about whether Alden Ehrenreich could possibly play Han Solo, let’s take a moment and remember that he’s not the first ‘other guy’ to muscle in on the role made famous by Harrison Ford.
Way back in the 1980s, actor Perry King stepped into Ford’s knee-high boots in a cracking and successful series of radio dramas based on the film series. And he was amazing!
Join us as we explore the surprising history of the project, which started life as a whim of a college theatre director looking for a scandal. We’ll tell you how they scored the rights for the princely sum of $1, how US President Ronald Reagan derailed the project, and more crazy tales from the origin story of NPR’s Star Wars audio dramas!
We also tried to track down the mysterious identity of the other other guy who played Han Solo in a half-hour spinoff audio drama called Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell – the cast list of which has been lost for decades. We made contact with a key figure in the making of that LP – listen in to find out what he had to share.
But perhaps most of all, this podcast is about the late Star Wars scribe Brian Daley – the writer of all these audio dramas, and perhaps the man who knew Han Solo best in the early days as author of the novels Han Solo at Star’s End, Han Solo’s Revenge and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy.
Brian died of pancreatic cancer 22 years ago this week, never getting to hear the last words he wrote committed to tape by his audio drama cast.
This episode of Force Material is dedicated to his memory.