If things turned out as differently as Mark Hamill expected, audiences would see a dramatically different ending for Luke Skywalker at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi (1983). The actor appeared on SiriusXM's "EW Live" station to promote his upcoming appearance on the FX comedy What We Do in the Shadows when Star Wars came up. Hamill revealed to hosts Dalton Ross and Jessica Shaw when he first read the script for Revenge of the Jedi (Episode VI's original title), the last hope for the galaxy (at the time) expected a sinister turn for his character. "I remember complaining to George [Lucas] about something in Revenge of the Jedi," he said. "I said, 'It's so predictable and pat,' and he said, 'Mark, don't forget. These things were made for children.' His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids, adolescents, and younger."
Foreshadowing in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Hamill expected Luke to turn to the dark side after all foreshadowing laid out in The Empire Strikes Back. While training with Yoda (Frank Oz) through a cave in Degobah, the Jedi master insisted Luke confront his deepest fear requesting he disarm himself before going in. Refusing to relinquish his lightsaber, Luke encounters what he thinks is Darth Vader. Following the initial shock, the Jedi apprentice regained his composure and struck at the Dark Lord of the Sith. After the body falls, Vader's helmet rolls within Luke's line of sight. The front of Vader's mask explodes, revealing Luke's own decapitated head. Not long after, an uncertain Luke senses a disturbing vision of his friends in trouble in Cloud City. Rather than follow Yoda's insistence to complete his training, Luke defies him and tries to help. As expected, Luke falls into the trap set by Vader. As the young Jedi finds out how mismatched he is, Vader reveals Luke's true lineage as his father. Trapped between his sworn enemy and a deep chasm, Vader beckons Luke to join him to rule the galaxy. As a final act of defiance, Luke lets go of the platform in freefall than take Vader's hand only to be saved later by Lando (Billy Dee Williams), Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Chewie (Peter Mayhew) in the Millennium Falcon. As Hamill read the follow-up script, he expected Luke to eventually accept his father or take his place. "Because I was wearing all black, I thought I would go to the Dark Side in the last one," he said. "And, of course, you have to redeem yourself … every actor wants to play their own evil twin."
Along with Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Hamill is the only other actor to film through the original Star Wars trilogy and the sequel trilogy. The Rise of Skywalker (2019) director J.J. Abrams posthumously added Carrie Fisher, who played Leia through repurposed deleted scenes from The Force Awakens (2015). Her daughter, Billie Lourd, who played Lt. Connix in the sequel trilogy, became her digital stand-in on original flashback scenes. Hamill believes The Rise of Skywalker will be the last time he plays Luke. The film is available for streaming on Disney+ and on physical media. You can catch the interview below.