When The Last Jedi is released in December 2017 it’ll be the first time fans will get to see Luke Skywalker actually say or do something onscreen in over three decades. And hopefully, his first words will be better than some recently unearthed vintage 1977 unused Star Wars dialogue.
Luke was left appropriately tongue-tied at the end of The Force Awakens when Rey flew the Millennium Falcon with Chewie and Artoo to the secluded Jedi temple on Ahch-To all just to return the trusty blue saber to its rightful owner. Since The Last Jedi has a good chance of referring to and focusing mainly on why Luke went into exile, chances are pretty high he’ll have a lot of explaining to do. But we definitely won’t hear one recently unearthed line of dialogue come out of Luke’s mouth in The Last Jedi.
A rediscovered clip features a fresh-faced Mark Hamill in an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson lambasting some overtly sci-fi dialogue the actor begged George Lucas to leave on the cutting room floor for A New Hope. “I remember that there was one line that I just begged him to take out of the screenplay, and he finally did,” Hamill tells Carson, “Boy, I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I sometimes dream about this line.”
So what was the bunk line by original Star Wars mastermind Lucas? It’s a doozy:
“But we can’t turn back! Fear’s their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there’s any greater than it was on Aquili or Sullust and what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault!”
The bad lines seemed to haunt Hamill ever since he auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker. Fans might remember Hamill gave the same anecdote in the comprehensive documentary Empire of Dreams that came with the first Star Wars DVD release in 2004.
Hopefully writer/director Rian Johnson came up with some more eloquent, Obi-Wan-like dialogue for Luke to utter in the next Star Wars episode. According to an interview Johnson did with Empire, writing dialogue for Star Wars is tougher than you realize. “I found myself constantly wanting to push modern idioms into the dialogue, and sometimes that can work, but you have to be very careful,” he said. “If you go too far you can break that Star Wars spell.”
We’ll see if the spell works when The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.