Numerous deleted scenes wound up on the cutting room floor when it came time to assemble Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but one in particular still stings a bit for Mark Hamill.
Hamill, who famously and vocally disagreed with writer/director Rian Johnson's direction for his iconic character Luke Skywalker, is still making the rounds in various interviews to promote the latest Star Wars film, which hits Blu-ray this week a little more than three months after its theatrical release. That Blu-ray, as well as the digital version that dropped earlier this month, contains numerous deleted and extended sequences assembled by Johnson, including more of Finn and Rose's adventures on Canto Bight and a whole sequence devoted to the Caretakers of Ahch-To. The deleted footage also includes a brief, wordless scene titled simply "Luke Has A Moment," and it's that scene Hamill really wishes Johnson could have kept.
The scene takes place shortly after Chewbacca has knocked down the door of Luke's Ahch-To hut, angry that the self-exiled Jedi won't listen to Rey's pleas for help. When Luke sees Chewie and realizes that the Millennium Falcon is also on the island, he puts two and two together and asks "Where's Han?" In the final film, that scene — along with Luke's clandestine visit to the Falcon cockpit, where he collects Han's lucky dice — is the only real reaction Luke has to the news of Solo's death in The Force Awakens. He didn't sense it when it happened because he's closed himself off from The Force, and his lack of any outward grieving might seem a little strange, particularly with Chewie standing right there.
Luke's reaction to Han's death was originally supposed to last a little longer, though. After refusing to help Rey yet again, Luke storms back to his hut and shuts the now badly dented door, while Rey waits for him outside. Only then, in the privacy of his humble home, does he sit down at his makeshift table and shed a few tears for his best friend and brother-in-law. It's a moment that lasts only about 20 seconds, but it's a powerful performance from Hamill, elevated even more by Johnson's decision to juxtapose it with Leia's own moment of silent reflection aboard the Raddus as the Resistance flagship exits hyperspace. Alas, Leia's moment stayed in the movie. Luke's didn't, and when asked if he regretted that cut, Hamill didn't dance around the answer.
"Yes, of course [I regret it] because it shows Luke was putting on a facade in front of Rey and even Chewie, that he was embittered and sort of a broken man," Hamill told IGN. "And I think the fact that he could let his emotions out when he was by himself would have made an impact on the audience because it allowed them to grieve the loss of Han Solo just the way Luke felt it.
"But that always happens in films. You say, 'Oh, what about this scene where this happens or that happens?' because you want to give the fullest experience that you can. And like you say, it was brief enough that I was — [chuckles] They had time for me to milk that big alien but to show any human emotion? Nah, we don't have time for that. But again it's not my call."
Hamill was tasked several times throughout The Last Jedi with conveying heavy emotion with only a look, including the moment he realized his nephew had turned to the Dark Side and the moment he said goodbye to his sister in the Resistance hideout on Crait. His moment on Ahch-To is yet another instance of that, and while it would have been nice to see that small piece become part of Hamill's whole performance, Johnson had to trim the film significantly. Still, Hamill might have a point: We could have maybe used a little more Han Solo tribute and a little less sea cow milking, right?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is on Blu-ray now.