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Mark Hamill understands why it was done, but he still feels strongly about in the original introduction of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope being left on the cutting room floor.
While a guest on the recent episode of Russo Bros. Pizza Film School (a series the Marvel duo started to talk film amid the pandemic) Hamill reminisced about the Star Wars films, when he got on the subject of how Luke’s introduction in both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi were cut.
The actor was not so bothered about the Jedi scene, which showed Luke building his new lightsaber on Tatooine before he helped rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. But the absence of Luke’s introduction in A New Hope continues to be a real sticking point for Hamill, as he explained so much of the character’s nuance and motivation, to a large degree, was lost.
The original introduction (cut for pacing, but available on Disney+) opens with Luke looking up from the moisture farm to see the battle going on as Darth Vader pursues Princess Leia to obtain the stolen Death Star plans. Luke then goes to Tosche Station.
“There a couple of things that are good for the character,” Hamill began. “No. 1, he is ridiculed roundly by his peers. So he’s not particularly cool or popular. Koo Stark is the only other female actor in the movie … and she calls me ‘Wormie.’ So I am not popular, and then I bump into Biggs Darklighter, played by Garrick Hagon, and I go ‘Wow!’ You can see we’re good friends. He’s dressed in an Imperial uniform and I’m going, ‘Wow! That’s so great! I can’t wait until I can get off the dump of a planet and join with you.’ And he takes me outside and says, ‘Luke, as soon as I get the chance, I am going to jump ship and join the Rebels.'”
Hamill continued, “The only reason that is interesting to me is that Luke has no political persuasion. He thinks it’s great he is in the Empire! Luke wants to be in the Empire if it will get him off the farm! So he is completely pure in that he is not politically motivated in any way, shape or form.”
Hamill said he was so passionate about the introduction and the interaction with Biggs because that was Luke’s primary reason for not using his targeting system on his run to destroy the Death Star. “In the final assault on the Death Star, we’re getting picked off left and right … but the thing that motivates me to turn off the targeting device, and rely completely on the Force, is the death of Biggs Darklighter,” he said. “It was later that they decided to dub in Obi Wan’s voice saying. ‘Luke, use the Force’ and that’s when he decides.”
Watch the full episode below.
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