The opening sequence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens got the action going pretty quick, with Poe Dameron getting captured by Kylo Ren and the First Order. According to Mark Hamill, however, the movie almost opened in a completely different—and macabre—way.
In an interview with British newspaper The Sun, Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, confirmed an early rumor that had been floating around for months before The Force Awakens even begun filming. Here’s what Hamill said:
I can tell you now that in the original opening shot of 7, the first thing that came into frame was a hand with a lightsaber, a severed hand that enters the atmosphere, and then the hand and bone burns away and [the lightsaber] goes sticking into the surface of Jakku. And this alien hand comes in, don’t know if it was Maz but it was an alien hand who takes the lightsaber away, and then the movie proceeds as you see it.
In relation to the larger story, opening with Luke’s severed hand holding onto the lightsaber makes a lot of narrative sense, but it’s certainly a morbid image. As is, the opening for The Force Awakens is perfect in its tone and pace, particularly the very first line, “This will begin to make things right,” which many people thought was a shot at George Lucas’ prequel trilogy.
As we previously discussed, Luke’s lightsaber has spanned several generations, and to see it pop up again in The Force Awakens was a delight for fans. We still don’t know how it wound up in Maz’s basement, but perhaps Hamill’s recollection of the scrapped scene will shed light on a future explanation, which we’ll hopefully get in Episode VIII.
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