Luke vs Darth Vader The Empire Strikes Back

Mark Hamill wasn't allowed to perform The Empire Strikes Back's signature stunt

Contributed by
Jun 4, 2018

Nearly four decades ago, Mark Hamill was trained to perform a specific stunt on the set of The Empire Strikes Back for Luke Skywalker’s climatic showdown with Darth Vader in Cloud City. But when the time came to use what he had learned, Hamill was blocked from doing the stunt by the film's insurance company. 

Hamill shared the story today on his twitter account, recalling what would become the unforgettable moment where Luke was thrown from a room in Cloud City after Vader shattered a large circular window with Force-flung debris. According to Hamill, his stunt double, Colin Skeaping, taught him how to make the jump. But it was Skeaping who ended up doing the stunt in the final cut. 

Hamill also took the opportunity to point out a stunt that he was able to perform in the film. Hamill really was doing a one-hand handstand while Luke underwent Jedi training with Yoda, but he readily admited to an assist from a harness.

This wasn’t Hamill’s only walk down memory lane. He recently shared a few early concept posters for Star Wars, while questioning their effectiveness in selling the movie.

In retrospect, it's amazing that the original Star Wars did as well as it did. As alluded to by Hamill, sci-fi legends like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were far from their peak of popularity at the end of the '70s. If Star Wars hadn’t become a breakout hit, then the resurgence of sci-fi movies may not have happened at all. 

However, the box office reception of Solo: A Star Wars Story has proven that not even the Star Wars franchise is infallible. But as pointed out in a recent assessment, if the franchise can survive the prequels, then the Star Wars films should be able to rebound from this disappointment.

As for Hamill, he’s likely to reappear at least one more time as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IX, which will be released in December 2019. No word yet on whether or not he'll be performing his own stunts.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)