There are several traumatizing scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy, but one in particular continues to haunt Mark Hamill to this day.
When responding to a fan on Twitter, Hamill said the Wampa scene in The Empire Strikes Back upsets him because of the violence. Here’s what Hamill said:
When filming scene I was assured my lightsaber swipe toward camera (creature not on set) would simply singe fur 2 scare him off-Horrified to later see amputation & unnecessary cruelty-Wampa was HUNGRY (not EVIL)-Luke would never do this! #StillAngry2017 https://t.co/QhIkOILZmw
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) November 27, 2017
In the scene, Luke Skywalker is brought to a Wampa cave, where it looks like he’s going to meet certain doom. At the last moment, however, Luke uses the Force to summon his nearby lightsaber, narrowly escaping—but not before slicing off the Wampa’s arm.
Apparently, Hamill thought Luke would simply swing his lightsaber at the hungry Wampa to scare him off. “Horrified to later see amputation & unnecessary cruelty,” Hamill said. When asked if he was being “sarcastic or serious,” Hamill said his comments were serious.
I can empathize with Hamill, as the scene is pretty gruesome. But in a bid for survival, what else was Luke supposed to do? That Wampa attacked him out of nowhere and nearly had him for dinner. In the grand scheme of things, that Wampa made it out easy.
I guess the death of Jabba the Hutt’s Rancor, which was impaled by a door, wasn’t that big of a deal.