There’s no doubt that Mark Hamill’s appearance in The Force Awakens was nothing more than a brief cameo, albeit a very exciting one. But in the original cut of J.J. Abrams' movie, the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known had a little bit more to do, according to the man himself.
Speaking in the latest issue of Empire (via ScreenRant), Hamill reveals the ending of The Force Awakens was changed at the last minute to ensure continuity with Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Hamill says: “There was something that happened at the end of The Force Awakens when I’m standing on the cliff. I called Rian in a panic because it was all wrong. He said, ‘It’s okay, I spoke to J.J. and he’s taking that scene out.’ It just didn’t match up with what Rian had written.”
The ending as we know it sees Rey (Daisy Ridley) discovering the exiled Luke Skywalker (Hamill) on Ahch-To, as she silently holds out his lightsaber to him before it cuts to the credits. The big mystery that remains is exactly what that “something" might be, and whether it has remained on the cutting room for, or sneaked its way into Johnson’s movie.
Of course, the actor is going to be featured much more prominently in The Last Jedi, so perhaps there was some vital information shared in those final moments with Rey that Johnson wanted to hold back for his own movie. Could it be that we were originally going to be given a big hint here at what’s to come? Has Luke gone to the dark side? Was he really on that island all by himself?
It wasn’t the only thing than Johnson asked Abrams to change, either. The director previously told Entertainment Weekly that he requested BB-8 be replaced by R2-D2, who reactivated himself near the end of The Force Awakens and provided the final clues necessary to locate Luke.
“I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance,” Johnson explained. “Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’”
It seems that Abrams was very happy to oblige.
What do you think could have been in the unseen footage from the original ending? Give us your best fan theories in the comments below.