Mark Hamill wanted Luke to turn to the dark side in Return of the Jedi
Mark Hamill has always been candid about when he has not agreed with something in the Star Wars galaxy. And he has been equally up front when admitting that he may not necessarily always be right. The man who played Luke Skywalker was openly dubious about some of the creative decisions surrounding his character that took place in The Last Jedi, and his reservations about director Rian Johnson’s vision were outlined in the surprisingly revealing The Director and the Jedi documentary.
But The Last Jedi was not the first time Hamill criticized the direction of the young moisture farmer turned savior of the galaxy. Hamill spoke to EW Live (SiriusXM, channel 109) about his recent guest-starring spot on FX’s vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, and when the topic turned to Star Wars, the actor noted that he originally wanted Luke to take a much different, darker path in episode VI of the franchise, Return of the Jedi (originally titled Revenge of the Jedi before release).
“I remember complaining to George [Lucas] about something in Revenge of the Jedi,” said Hamill. “And I said, ‘It’s so predictable and pat,’ and he said, ‘Mark, don’t forget. These things were made for children.’ His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids! Adolescents and younger. And we’re bringing our adult sensibilities to it and that’s where we go wrong.”
Hamill is quick to point out that Lucas ultimately knew best. “He’s the man. He knows what he wants, and I realized he was right. He said, ‘All fairy tales get tied up neatly at the end.’ Because I thought after Empire we should really go crazy as possible with the last one, but there’s a reason why George is where he is and I’m where I am.”
So what was the Mark Hamill version of “crazy as possible” for Luke in Return of the Jedi? “Well, I thought I was turning evil,” shared Hamill. “Because I was wearing all black. I thought I would go to the dark side in the last one. And, of course, you have to redeem yourself. But that movie is the way I felt it was going with the preceding episode. But every actor wants to play their own evil twin.”
What would a dark side Luke have looked like onscreen? Would the former Jedi have been torturing Ewoks, high-fiving the Emperor (with his one human hand, of course), and burning down Tosche Station after stealing all their power converters? Sadly, we’ll never know.
Watch the video above as Hamill talks to EW Live on SiriusXM about his desire for Luke to go dark.