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Why Mark Hamill Panicked While Shooting The End Of The Force Awakens

When viewers witnessed the end of 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they were on the edge of their seat, begging to see more. But when Star Wars legend Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the storied franchise, first learned about it while shooting the film, he freaked out.

Hamill recently opened up to Empire Magazine (via CinemaBlend) about a glaring inconsistency he spotted while reading the script for The Force Awakens. When realizing that what director J.J. Abrams had intended to do at the end of the film would create a continuity error with the next franchise installment, writer-director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, Hamill phoned up Johnson in a panic to possibly get the ending changed. 

"There was something that happened at the end of The Force Awakens when I'm standing on the cliff. I called Rian in a panic because it was all wrong," the actor admitted. "He said, 'It's okay, I spoke to J.J. and he's taking that scene out.' It just didn't match up with what Rian had written."

We can't know for sure what was changed about the original conclusion of The Force Awakens–which features Rey (Daisy Ridley) venturing to the rocky planet of Ahch-To and passing Luke his lightsaber, with the camera cutting to black just as Hamill was about to speak as the Jedi for the first time in over 30 years–but it's clear that something crucial was modified. 

However, it stands to reason that the ending moviegoers saw likely wasn't too dramatic a departure from what Abrams originally had in mind. Perhaps the filmmaker wanted Luke to grab his lightsaber and ignite it before the credits rolled, which would go against Johnson's possible characterization of Luke as a time-weathered and reluctant hero who isn't exactly interested in reliving his turbulent past. Or, as sources close to Star Wars Shadow Council speculate, Abrams' ending supposedly showed Luke embracing Rey in a hug. This would certainly clash with Johnson's aim to maintain a high level of mystery in The Last Jedi, especially when it comes to Rey's identity and relationship with Luke.

Regardless of how The Force Awakens was originally meant to end, we can rest easy that the theatrical cut we ended up watching flows seamlessly into The Last Jedi, which will arrive in theaters on December 15.