Mark Hamill is certainly one of the most beloved actors in all of cinema. His portrayal of Luke Skywalker has gone down in history as one of the most perfect casted actors. His legend has only further grown via his social media pages and his cheeky attempts to let fans in on little secrets from the Star Wars universe. Now the man has done it again as he revealed that the ending of Empire Strikes Back was changed in the form of a “re-shoot.” You can see his tweet below:
Mark Hamill recently revealed that the ending of Empire Strikes Back had been too depressing, so an uplifting moment of Luke and Leia staring into the stars was added to add a bit of hope to the end of a film that saw the defeat of the protagonists. Most of the time in big Hollywood pictures, the good guys always find a way to win, but that wasn’t the case for the second chapter in the Star Wars saga. With Luke finding out that Vader is his father, Han being frozen in Carbonite, and the Empire coming out on top, there was little hope left at the end of that film. Honestly, it was one of the best endings in cinema history and George Lucas was a genius for showing what it would be like to see the good guys lose for once.
Empire Strikes Back is not the only instance in a Star Wars film where the good guys take a beating, and all seems lost for a moment. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came out in 2016 and showed a sort of stealth and espionage type of story which highlighted an important part in the Star Wars mythos. This was the plan enacted to steal the plans of the Death Star from the Empire. The ending of the film sees the rebels as successful, but Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor die because of their win. The suicide mission lived up to its name. The original ending for the film saw Jyn and Cassian making it out alive, but that ending was done away with, adding a more important meaning behind the heroes giving their lives for the sake of the Rebel Alliance. While it did seem as if Darth Vader won via his rampage and killing of many rebels, the plans were successfully stolen, and the beginning of A New Hope was started.
This sounds on par with the Mark Hamill revealed that showing the bad guys win isn’t exactly the normal thing to do in a movie, and how adding a moment of uplifting hope is needed to give audiences a moment to reflect. Adding diversity is truly a way to make the heroes of the film shine even more, and everyone remembers what happens in Return of the Jedi. Rogue One is another instance of that as quite literally everyone dies in order to see the success of the Rebel Alliance happen. It’s a weird combination of defeat mixed with a glimmer of hope to drive forward rooting for the good guys.
While Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back may have been changed or altered a bit, the original ending should have stayed with the Empire winning at every turn. The scene of Luke and Leia looking into the stars with hope in their stance is still a fantastic scene, but the Empire should have won all the way through. It would have made the beating they took from the Ewoks seems less hilarious.