The extreme secrecy surrounding Star Wars movies isn’t a new thing. By the time 1983’s Return of the Jedi went into production, Star Wars mania had reached the point where fans were clamoring for story details — and creator George Lucas went to extra lengths to keep them secret, shooting on location under a fake movie title(Blue Harvest) to throw journalists off, and inserting false scenes into the cast and crew’s scripts to discourage leaks. Even when the film was nearing its premiere date, the stars weren’t entirely sure which events would make the final cut.
Case in point: the 1983 Mark Hamill interview above. In a sit-down with Maria Shriver for the show PM Magazine, a 30-year-old Hamill joked that working on Jedi was “like being in the Nixon administration” because “they’d come in and give me pages, have me memorize them there, and shred them.”
Before Jedi hit theaters, fans still wondered if Darth Vader was lying about being Luke’s father and didn’t know how the “love triangle” between Luke, Han, and Leia would resolve. When Shriver asked about the ending, Hamill said that he wasn’t sure he knew what would happen. “There were alternate endings, false dialogues, I mean this guy [George Lucas] could cut together The Bobbsey Twins Go to the Seashore,” Hamill said. “I mean, I could be surprised. That’s kind of exciting.”
Also worth noting are Hamill’s allusions to upcoming Star Wars films, which at this point existed only in Lucas’ prolific imagination. Hamill informed Shriver that he could appear in a future Star Wars movie around the year 2004, but that Luke Skywalker would either be “on another plane of existence or not the same character.” And, he added, “I can’t really tell you why without getting into sensitive material.”
Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker this December in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to be followed by Episode IX: The Bobbsey Twins Go to the Seashore.
Watch Hamill react to the title ‘The Last Jedi:’