Now that we’ve all seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens a collective buttload, it’s sort of hard to think back to the days—months, years even—of rampant speculation regarding what the movie would be about, how it would tie to the original trilogy, and where it would begin. What would the open shot, post-scroll, be? For a long time, the rumor was that the movie would open with Luke Skywalker’s severed hand, still clutching the blue lightsaber, floating through space. Now, Luke himself (Mark Hamill) has announced that it’s completely true! All of it!
Hamill confirmed in an interview with UK gossip rag The Sun that the opening shots of what became The Force Awakens were originally going to be the hand, drifting through space, and eventually reaching the desert planet of Jakku where it would enter the planet’s gravity and the hand would burn up, leaving the lightsaber to fall to the surface below—because science, Kyle Hill?—and eventually be picked up by an alien, though it’s not clear if that alien would have been Maz Kanata. Then the rest of the movie would have played out as it does.
There are many reasons, to my mind, why this would have been changed—the most glaring of which being that it doesn’t make any sense for the hand to have even reached outer space, given that the duel between Luke and Vader happened in Cloud City’s underbelly, and Cloud City was well within the atmosphere of the planet Bespin. Changing the focus to the lightsaber makes way more sense, and not knowing exactly how Maz Kanata got it is some fun stuff for another time.
You can watch Hamill’s full interview with The Sun below, the passage about the hand begins at 1:55:
It’s weird to think that this rumor that most of us thought was ridiculous was actually for-real going to be how the movie began. Unless Hamill is just über-trolling us all, it would appear that we almost had Floaty Hand in our new Star Wars canon.
What do you think about this shocking revelation? Would it have changed your view of TFA if they’d kept it? Let us know in the comments below!
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Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and a purveyor of severed hands everywhere. Follow him on Twitter!