Star Wars creator George Lucas has a great imagination but, as anyone who has seen the prequel trilogy knows, his ear for dialogue is a little more hit or miss. It turns out an even more awkward exchange could have made its way into Star Wars: A New Hope decades before all the talk of younglings and disliking sand, if not for Mark Hamill's protests.
The actor behind Luke Skywalker told the story of the supremely questionable line on a Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson segment in 1977 that recently re-emerged on YouTube. Watch the anecdote starting at 3:30 if you can, since you won't get a full appreciation for just how awkward it sounds without Hamill belting the whole thing out from memory.
"I remember there was one line I just begged him to take out of the screenplay and he finally did," Hamill told Carson, setting the scene for when the Millennium Falcon arrives at the asteroid field that was once Alderaan. "Boy, I'll never forget it as long as I live, I sometimes dream about this line.
"Harrison says, 'look kid, I've done my part of the bargain. When I get to an asteroid you, the old man, and the droids get dropped off'. And my line was: 'But we can't turn back, fear is their greatest defense, I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust and what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault".
And he almost managed to say it all in one breath! Even though it gave him a great opportunity to show off his preternatural lung capacity, Hamill wasn't having it - thus saving one of modern cinema's great moments from its fate as an incomprehensible exposition dump.
"I thought, 'Who talks like this, George?' I mean, this is really not fair, because we're the ones that are gonna get vegetables thrown at us. Not you!"
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