Mark Hamill didn’t like the script of Return Of The Jedi the first time he read it.
Friday, Hamill appeared on SiriusXM’s, EW Live, to discuss his role on the FX vampire mockumentary series, What We Do In The Shadows. An appearance which he clearly enjoyed given his live tweets during the episode’s premiere, but it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to Star Wars.
Mark Hamill told the hosts Dalton Ross and Jessica Shaw that he wasn’t very happy when he first read the script for the third Star Wars film, which was originally titled Revenge Of The Jedi.
“I remember complaining to George [Lucas] about something in Revenge of the Jedi, and I said, ‘It’s so predictable and pat,’ and he said, ‘Mark, don’t forget. These things were made for children,'” Hamill said. “His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids! Adolescents and younger.”
Hamill expected a few more surprise twists after the craziness that was The Empire Strikes Back. The shocking ending that Obi-Wan lied when he said Vader killed Luke’s father, because Vader himself was Luke’s father, was known only to a few during filming including Hamill. Mark Hamill thought that Luke should not follow the expected path and instead turn to the Dark Side himself.
“Because I was wearing all black, I thought I would go to the Dark Side in the last one,” said Hamill. “And, of course, you have to redeem yourself … every actor wants to play their own evil twin.”
Mark Hamill wanting to get the chance to explore Luke’s darker tendencies would have been an interesting story, but given that this was originally intended to be the final film in a trilogy and intended for kids or families it makes sense to end the story on a hopeful note. The story becomes one of redemption versus one of succumbing to your demons.
Mark Hamill’s Alternate Vision For Return of the Jedi
Even the original title Revenge Of The Jedi has a completely different connotation. Given that Jedi are not meant to go after things like revenge, it could have shifted the tone of the film. Return Of The Jedi has a much more hopeful outlook. “Return” brings to mind hope and new beginnings.
Star Wars would have been a completely different story if Return Of The Jedi, originally Revenge Of The Jedi, had gone the way Mark Hamill had wanted. If it had happened could this have led to the original films not being a trilogy, but instead a four or five-part story? If it had stayed a trilogy that ended in Luke’s fall from the Light Side, would it have resonated with audiences the way it has? Would Star Wars have become the massive multigenerational and global franchise that it is today?
Star Wars has grown to include films, books, comics, video games, animated shows, and now live action shows. It has spanned generations and for many become a franchise to share with their younger family members. The legacy of George Lucas has had a huge impact on our culture and The Empire Strikes Back has one of the most famous endings of all time. Star Wars even has its own day, or days depending on who you ask, with fans celebrating their love of the franchise, May The Fourth Be With You.
Mark Hamill returned in the final two films of the sequel trilogy in The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker. This isn’t the first time Hamill wanted to see a Star Wars film go another way. Hamill was vocal about his displeasure with Luke’s story in The Last Jedi although he later admitted his regret in making his thoughts public. Hamill has also made it clear that he has played the Jedi legend Luke Skywalker for the last time inThe Rise Of Skywalker.
What do you think Star Wars would look like today had Luke turned to the Dark Side? Would you have liked to see Dark Luke? Where should Mark Hamill pop up next? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.