Mark Hamill Made the Case for Evil Luke Skywalker to J.J. Abrams Ten Years Ago

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

The AV Club knows how to unearth old footage like no other site, and they've done it again with a clip that's very relevant to fans excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are a lot of crazy theories out there for the film, showing how desperately fans anticipate its release, and many of them center on Luke Skywalker being some type of villain in the movie.

Well, Mark Hamill, who played the character in the original Star Wars trilogy and returns for Episode VII, added fuel to that fire, but he did it a decade ago. The crazy coincidence part is that he did it on Dinner for Five, a show on IFC that featured filmmakers sitting around talking about their craft, characters, pasts, and futures: on an episode with J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens. It's the kind of kismet you couldn't possibly plan.

The Star Wars talk starts with rumors of a Star Wars TV show that takes place after Return of the Jedi that was supposed to be with Smith and Hamill both working on it. Smith asked Hamill if, when he saw Anakin go "full-bore Dark Side," he wished "it should've been me."

"I pitched that to George," Hamill responded. "As an actor, that would be more fun to play. I thought that was where it was going. I thought that would be my pivotal moment - I'll have to come back, but I thought it would be, I have Han Solo in my crosshairs, and I'm about to kill him, or about to kill the Princess, about to kill somebody that we care about. You know, it's an old cornball movie," he said.

Hamill was living in Japan between films at the time, and even pitched a full "trained Samurai" style look to George Lucas, but he wanted Luke's look to remain constant.

He also talked about how Harrison Ford would tell him to just do things, not ask for permission, and see if Lucas caught them. We can't help but wonder if Ford gave that kind of advice to the young actors in The Force Awakens like Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega.


There was a deleted scene in Return of the Jedi that teased a Dark Side turn for Luke. In it, Luke is tinkering with his lightsaber. Darth Vader calls out to him through The Force saying that joining him is "the only way," and Luke ignites his saber, nodding. At New York Comic Con, Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Star Wars Story Group at Lucasfilm, said that Luke did briefly give in to the Dark Side during the climactic battle, and was able to turn back to the light before the end.

The episode also featured Kevin Smith and Stan Lee (plus Jason Lee for good measure) and is worth watching in entirety, but if you just want the Star Wars Evil-Luke talk, you can get it at about 11:00 in.