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Mark Hamill confirms the ‘floating hand’ opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens almost happened

May 7th, 2016 by Matt Gault Comments

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It was speculated for months on the build up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens; what was the opening shot going to be that would follow the iconic text crawl? Fan sites were up in arms about it, with some claiming to have an inside scoop, but now Mark Hamill has put it all to rest.

The biggest rumour that appeared online before the release of Episode VII was that the traditional pan towards a spaceship was to be altered… to a pan up towards Luke’s severed arm, grasping his father’s lightsaber, which he lost at the end of Empire Strikes Back.

From there, the hand would plummet into the atmosphere of Jakku, setting the story in motion. It was a ridiculous claim, but was it almost a reality?

When talking to The Sun, Hamill said: “I can tell you now that in the original opening shot of [Episode] Seven, the first thing that came into frame was a hand with a lightsaber, a severed hand that enters the atmosphere and then the hand and bone burns away and [the saber] goes sticking into the surface of Jakku.”

As daft as the story probably seemed when you read it online, it’s made all the more unusual by the fact that it almost became a reality.

Maz Kanata of course is in possession of Luke’s weapon by the time we run into her later in the film – no mention of the hand, of course. Her cryptic reply of “A good question, for another time” when she is asked how she came across it by Han Solo is no doubt something we’ll see in a later film, so to have us see that right out of the gate would have really taken away from her mystery.

Hamill adds: “and this alien hand comes in, don’t know if it was Maz but it was an alien hand who takes the lightsaber away, and then the movie proceeds as you see it.”

The general consensus seems to be that this opening was a bad idea but, having seen The Force Awakens many times now, we’re confident Abrams and the team could have made it work… and with Maz having the sabre, we’re not entirely sure it’s not something that we will see again when Maz tells the story being her having it…

Thanks to the guys at Squareeyed for the news

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.

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