Mark Hamill says that he wanted to play Luke Skywalker’s evil twin in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Empire is out with a new cover story about the upcoming Star Wars sequel this week, and while the cast and crew remains characteristically vague throughout the article, Hamill does reveal that he pitched the idea of Luke having an evil twin in the eighth episode.
“Oh baby, would I love to play my own evil twin!” Hamill said. “It’d be great because you could maybe not reveal it’s Evil Luke until the real Luke shows up. We could watch this guy undermining the good guys secretly, maybe even killing a supporting character out of everyone’s sight so they all go, ‘What’s going on? He’s crazy!’ And then, of course, the good Luke shows up.”
That, of course, does not happen in The Last Jedi. Hamill told Empire that when he suggested this idea to Lucasfilm, it was rejected partially because it had already been done in a novel. In Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command from 1993, it’s revealed that there is a clone of Luke Skywalker named Luuke Skywalker, who was grown from cells taken from the hand that was cut off during the duel with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.
“When I suggested that storyline, they said, ‘Well, it’s been done,'” Hamill said. “…Over the years there have been so many permutations of these characters that there’s not much left. It’s really limiting!”
Luuke Skywalker is no longer canon, as when Disney purchased Star Wars, they reset the series’ continuity and reclassified all the expanded universe books as “legends.” But the fact that Luke having an evil clone was already done in the expanded universe couldn’t have been the only reason Lucasfilm rejected Hamill’s idea, as they have in recent years reincorporated certain elements of the old novels into the new canon, such as by bringing the character of Thrawn back in Star Wars: Rebels.
Mark Hamill, who calls himself a “fountain of really terrible ideas,” has made a number of suggestions about the Star Wars series that have been rejected, some of which were obviously intended as jokes. He told Empire this week that he once suggested to George Lucas that Boba Fett should be revealed as Luke’s mother in disguise, working as a double agent. On a more serious note, Hamill has previously spoken about the fact that he felt that in The Force Awakens, Luke should have been there when Han Solo was killed by Kylo Ren, having been contacted by Leia telepathically.
“When I was reading it, I thought if Leia is trying to mentally contact me and she is unsuccessful, she’ll rush to his [Han’s] aid and get into some dire situation, and that’s when I show up,” Hamill previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “I save her life, and then we rush to Han, and then we are in the same position that Rey and Finn and Chewie are — too late to save him, but witnesses.”
Instead, Mark Hamill had nothing to do in The Force Awakens other than turn around and face Rey in the final scene, and while speaking to Empire, he joked that J.J. Abrams is a “sadist” for not telling him his role would be so small until giving him the script.
Thankfully, though, Mark Hamill is at the center of the eighth episode, and director Rian Johnson told Empire that he started the creative process by asking himself, “Who is Luke Skywalker now?” This is a question that will be answered in The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on December 15.