A long-standing rumor about the first scene in Episode VII of the Star Wars saga has turned out to be true.
Back in the days leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there were all kinds of rumors and hints about just about every aspect of the film. While many of those rumors were debunked once the movie finally opened, one in particular -- about the opening scene in the story -- has turned out to be credible after all.
Birth.Movies.Death ran with a report at the time that the first shot in the movie, following the standard opening text crawl, would have the camera panning up to the stars and coming across a severed hand floating in space and holding a lightsaber. That hand would fall into the planet's atmosphere, where it would burn up, but the lightsaber would continue its plunge -- all the way down to the surface of Jakku, where it would eventually be found by Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega).
That lightsaber, of course, would turn out to belong to Luke Skywalker, and would serve as the catalyst for his search. But none of this happened: Instead of a hand and a saber, we got Poe Dameron retrieving a map and hiding it inside BB-8.
So, just another rumor, right? Well, not quite. Speaking with The Sun, Mark Hamill revealed that the hand holding the saber was indeed supposed to be what kicked off the movie:
"In the original opening shot of 7, the first thing that came into frame was a hand with a light saber, a severed hand that enters the atmosphere, and the hand burns away and 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 light saber away, and then the movie proceeds as you see it."
Was it Maz Kanata that picked up the saber, or some other alien who eventually got it into the hands of Rey and Finn? We'll never know for sure, since the scene was never filmed, but we know now that at least one of the countless rumors about Star Wars: The Force Awakens turned out to be true. Do you think that would have been a better opening, or do you like the way the movie starts now?