Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill has tweeted about the violent Wampa scene from The Empire Strikes Back. He’s still seething about one element in particular: the fact that Luke chopped off the lumbering beast’s arm to save his own hide. Hamill was apparently told something else on set, only finding out about the bloody dismemberment later on.
Hamill, of course, has been in the news a lot lately. After reprising his iconic character to huge amounts of fanfare in the final moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Hamill will have a vitally important role in this festive season’s big new release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Hamill has previously expressed an interest in playing an evil version of Luke Skywalker, and director Rian Johnson has said that he loves hearing fans speculate about a potential dark turn for Luke.
It seems certain that fans will see a less likable side to Luke in The Last Jedi. But back in the era of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke was still a salt-of-the-earth orphan with a heart of gold. At the time, audience members were surely somewhat shocked to see Luke chopping off a creature’s arm. Now, years later, Hamill has explained what happened by replying to fan on Twitter:
When filming scene I was assured my lightsaber swipe toward camera (creature not on set) would simply singe fur 2 scare him off-Horrified to later see amputation & unnecessary cruelty-Wampa was HUNGRY (not EVIL)-Luke would never do this! #StillAngry2017 https://t.co/QhIkOILZmw
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) November 27, 2017
While shooting his side of the scene with director Irvin Kershner, Hamill was under the impression that Luke would simply singe the Wampa with his lightsaber. This would be enough to scare the Wampa off without permanently harming it, and to save Luke from being eaten in an ice-cold cave on Hoth. The creature wasn’t physically represented on set when Hamill filmed his lightsaber swing.
However, at some point, the scene was changed without Hamill’s involvement. Instead of singing the beast, Luke was now shown to be chopping his arm off. It is one of the most violent acts that Luke commits in the entire original trilogy, and even though he dismembered the Wampa to save his own life, it does feel a little out of character for Luke.
It seems likely that Hamill’s tweet was written with a playful tone in mind. The anger he expresses is most likely in good jest. But still, the iconic actor has clearly never forgotten this scene that changed without his involvement and made Luke look a touch too aggressive.
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Source: Mark Hamill
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