Back in 1980, the cast of “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” was gearing up for an old-fashioned press junket. Riding high on the popularity of “A New Hope,” audiences were clamoring for the second installment. As the only person who knew the big reveal hiding near the end of the story – the other actors were given a dummy script and saw Vader”s declaration only when they first watched the film – Hamill teased out the connection between Luke and Vader without giving anything away.
A deft interviewee, Hamill turned a question about his then infant son Nathan into a chance to hint at the future of the Star Wars franchise, including a few nuggets about the original prequels.
Twenty years earlier, in the third story, you see how Darth Vader came to power and fell from grace, and how the Obi-Wan character battled with Darth, and why he was forced to wear this mask. But in the third [prequel] which is the film that immediately precedes Star Wars, there”s an 8-year-old Luke running around and playing in the background.
Decades of opportunity to fiddle with the plot elements meant the last fans saw of Luke in the prequels was as an infant and not a boy growing up idolizing his pilot father who died in the Clone Wars. But I”d like to think that somewhere out there in the world of Alternate Reality, Vader and Padme are raising their twins to be good little Sith.
Art by David Sunoo
But Hamill”s reveal about Luke Skywalker”s childhood isn”t the only gem hidden in this rare “Empire Strikes Back” interview. David Prowse discusses the new Darth Vader costume. Anthony Daniels talks in length about the difficulties of playing C-3P0 while a young Harrison Ford praises the stage actor”s ability to breathe humanity into the droid. Carrie Fisher breaks down the lengthy process of filming the illusion of large areas in small spaces. Billy Dee Williams refuses to rise to the bait when asked about playing the “token black” character in the saga. And Irvin Kershner reiterates they did not film an alternate ending to “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Check out the entire interview below!