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Why Mark Hamill is still upset about this cut Star Wars scene

Over four decades after the fact, the way in which his signature character was introduced to audiences still irks Mark Hamill.

Hamill recently sat down for a chat with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo on their new Instagram series, Russo Bros. Pizza Film School. There, he revealed to the pair that in both Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker had his very first scenes cut for pacing reasons. While Hamill felt that the cut scene in Jedi was indeed superfluous, he still feels pretty strongly that Luke's original introduction in the first Star Wars flick should have been kept intact (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Hamill explained that in Return of the Jedi, there was a brief introductory scene that did serve one purpose: It explained where Luke got his green lightsaber. It showed Luke back home on Tatooine, building his new weapon before heading off to Jabba the Hutt's palace to rescue Han Solo. While this sounds pretty cool and all, it's easy to see how it could have thrown off the flick's pacing right from the beginning, and Luke's eventual introduction in the final cut — de-hooding himself and immediately beginning to make demands of Jabba like a badass — is pretty cool.

The scenes cut from A New Hope, however, would have clued us in to a couple of things about Luke: First, that he is not exactly considered to be a rad dude on his home planet, and second, that as the movie opens, he has no dog in the Empire vs. Rebellion race. The first scene would have found Luke observing the exchange of fire between Darth Vader's Star Destroyer and Princess Leia's vessel in the skies over Tatooine, before taking off for Tosche station to get some power converters (Yes, he actually got his converters in this version). There, he would have run into his buddy Biggs, and had a revealing conversation.

Mark Hamill thinks Luke's original introduction worked better

Hamill explained to the Russos that he felt the original introduction helped to draw Luke more strongly right from the outset. "There a couple of things that are good for the character," he said. "Number one, 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."

It's the conversation with Biggs, though, that helps to illustrate that Luke is is not inherently predisposed to be sympathetic to the Rebel cause, but is won over to the side of the Rebellion. "Then, I bump into Biggs Darklighter, played by Garrick Hagon, and I go 'Wow!' You can see we're good friends," he explained. "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.' [And] the only reason that is interesting to me is that Luke has no political persuasion. He thinks it's great [Biggs] 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."

Luke's original introduction also gave him a different motivation at the climax

Not only did the scrapped scenes serve to set Luke up as a bit of a blank slate for his introduction to the ways of the Force by Obi-Wan Kenobi, but their establishment of his close friendship with Biggs would have paid dividends in the film's climactic third act. Hamill also revealed that if the scenes had stayed, one of the flick's most iconic lines of dialogue — "Use the Force, Luke!" — would not have made it into the film, because Luke would have had a totally different motivation for relying on the Force to guide his fateful shot.

"In the final assault on the Death Star, we're getting picked off left and right," Hamill said. "But the thing that motivates me to turn off the targeting device, and rely completely on the Force, is the death of Biggs ... it was later that they decided to dub in Obi Wan's voice saying. 'Luke, use the Force' and that's when [Luke] decides."

Pretty interesting stuf, but as most fans know, Star Wars: A New Hope would have been a complete mess if not for the diligent work of editor Paul Hirsch, so we're inclined to think that his call to scrap Luke's original introductory sequences was the right one. If you're curious as to how those scenes played out, though, good news: You can watch them in their entirety on Disney+.