In 1977, George Lucas caught lightning in a bottle with Star Wars. The combination of space fantasy, grubby lived-in sci-fi elements, John Williams’ score, a great cast, and cutting-edge special effects made A New Hope one of the biggest movies of all-time. Almost a half-century later and it’s still one of the biggest things in entertainment, but now, Luke Skywalker himself has shed some light on his very earliest thoughts on a galaxy far, far away.
It came after a black-and-white video of Harrison Ford’s 1975 audition for Han Solo appeared on Twitter. He reads his lines opposite the already-cast Mark Hamill, with the dialogue a very early draft that doesn’t appear in the finished film. Even at this very early stage Ford has nailed Han Solo’s character, though Hamill is playing Luke a little more downbeat than in the finished movie.
Asked for his comments, Hamill hinted that he recognized that the dialogue could come across as campy, so he wanted to play the scene as sincerely as he could:
Playing these roles straight without winking to the camera or trying to be above the material was clearly the right choice, and while the cast and crew famously had misgivings about Star Wars, Lucas’ unique cocktail resulted in the all-conquering blockbuster that endures so many years later.
Early material like this also makes us crave a fully-featured re-release of the theatrical cuts of the original trilogy. Sure, some of the effects are a little wonky without Lucas’ 1990s CGI glow-up, but the untouched 1977 version of Star Wars is a piece of pop culture history, and we want to see it in the best condition possible.
Star Wars: A New Hope is available to stream on Disney Plus.