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Mark Hamill explains why Lucas really wanted this spacey Looney Tune short to play before Star Wars
Long before the Looney Tunes were tearing up the basketball courts with the likes of Michael Jordan and Lebron James, they were being considered for a slightly less ambitious project: being the warm up act before screenings of Star Wars.
As confirmed by franchise star Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series), Star Wars creator George Lucas had originally wanted a Looney Tunes animated short titled "Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century" to be screened before theatrical showings of A New Hope in 1977.
"George really did want this classic Daffy Duck cartoon shown before every screening of #SW," the actor tweeted, after recently reprising his iconic role on The Mandalorian. "It would've been an icebreaker to let the audience know what was coming was less than dead serious. I was disappointed when we couldn't get the rights to it [and] it didn't happen. #TrueStory."
This little bit of trivia first came to light (and Hamill's attention) thanks to Toon In With Me, which recently tweeted about George Lucas having requested the 1953 cartoon.
The short, which was directed by the now-famous Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones, sees Daffy Duck cast in the role of "Duck Dodgers," an enthusiastic but somewhat inept space hero, while Porky Pig serves as his fellow space-exploring sidekick. The pair travel to Planet X in search of a special element that's currently in short supply, only to encounter Marvin the Martian, who's doing everything he can to prevent them from taking what they came there to get.
It's an interesting glimpse into one of Lucas' possible influences, with the initial theme and Daffy's outfit and entrance all having a familiar pre-Vader-esque vibe. But as Hamill notes, it's also a stark reminder that Star Wars had been intended to be viewed with a much lighter tone, especially with it calling back to the pulpy space westerns like Buck Rogers In the 21st Century which were once-popular long before it.
The Mandalorian Season 3 will premiere later this year on Disney+ You can stream a boatload of Star Wars content, including A New Hope, on Disney+.