Thanks to the awesome Mark Hamill chatting with fans on Twitter, a bit of Star Wars trivia is making its way into the news. A lot of diehard fans have known bits and pieces of this little factoid for a long time now, but it’s still a nifty tidbit that has homages in more contemporary Star Wars content.
Luke Skywalker was originally named Luke Starkiller. When asked about some unique things about his role as the Star Wars lead, Hamill offered that last name and the fact that some stuff had been filmed with it in dialogue. Here’s the tweet.
Luke Starkiller.My name in Tunisia & London, months into prod. Filmed the "I'm LS here 2 rescue U!" scene w/ it. sad https://t.co/XPYaWjtbRG
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) October 26, 2015
The scene Hamill’s referencing? It’s the one where Luke pops into Leia’s prison cell in Stormtrooper disguise. Here it is.
According to Hamill’s tweet, then, the line once went “I’m Luke Starkiller, here to rescue you!”
Why was it changed? Well, Yahoo! points to a quote from George Lucas himself. He felt he had to change the name because of the contemporary crimes of Charles Manson.
“That I did because I felt a lot of people were confusing him with someone like Charles Manson…It had very unpleasant connotations.”
Don’t worry, folks. Starkiller is still being used and homaged in the Star Wars world. In fact, the name of the anti-hero main character in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video games was Starkiller. Even better, the base of The Force Awakens‘ First Order is, of course, known as Starkiller Base.
Very cool, and very nerdy. The use of the name in The Force Awakens means that Starkiller officially returns to the Star Wars canon, though not in the way Lucas once intended. We’ll take it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on Dec. 18.