The 68-year-old actor appeared on the Russo Brothers’ "Pizza Film School,” a show the “Avengers” directors created to discuss the art of film during the coronavirus pandemic. In the latest episode, Hamill was on hand to discuss the second movie in the trilogy, “The Empire Strikes Back.” He noted that his character, Luke Skywalker, is introduced in an organic way in that movie, and noted that his original introduction was cut in the first and third films, “A New Hope” and “Return of the Jedi” respectively.
In “Return of the Jedi," Luke was originally meant to be seen for the first time assembling his new green lightsaber in a cave, before going to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hut. Hamill said he didn’t quite mind that scene ending up on the cutting room floor, but still laments the loss of Luke’s first introduction in “A New Hope.”
His very first introduction, which these days is actually available on Disney+, sees Luke working on a rig in the middle of the desert when he looks up in the sky and notices the battle going on as Darth Vader pursues Princess Leia, who sends droids C-3PO and R2-D2 to Luke’s planet.
Luke then goes to a local hangout to tell his peers what he’s seen.
Luke Skywalker was originally introduced in a different way in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope.’ (Lucasfilm)
"There a couple of things that are good for the character," Hamill told the hosts. "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 added: "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."
Mark Hamill discussed a cut scene from the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment via AP)
In addition to giving the audience a better understanding of who Luke Skywalker is before he goes off on his epic adventure, Hamill explains that the original opening inferred the famous climax.
"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."
Hamill returned to the franchise after decades away, when director J.J. Abrams revived the series in 2015 with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”