Part of what made Han Solo’s demise in The Force Awakens so upsetting is that he didn’t get one last moment with his dear friend Luke before he died. But Mark Hamill apparently wanted Han’s death to play out slightly differently—in such a way that would’ve probably had us crying even more.
Speaking to Fandango’s Erik Davis at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration, Hamill pitched an alternate version of Han’s fateful reunion with Kylo Ren that he apparently came up with while reading the script for the first time.
It still would’ve played out the same—with Han being tragically cut down by his own child—but in Hamill’s version there’s a bit more build up that would’ve meant that not only would Leia reunite with Luke, but the twins would both get to witness Han’s demise:
When I was reading it, I thought if Leia is trying to mentally contact me and she is unsuccessful, she’ll rush to his [Han’s] aid and get into some dire situation, and that’s when I show up. I save her life, and then we rush to Han, and then we are in the same position that Rey and Finn and Chewie are—too late to save him, but witnesses.
Man, it’s already heartbreaking enough seeing Leia crumple when she feels Han’s death in the Force in the movie, but a scene where she reunited with Luke and got to see it in person? Every theater would’ve needed a surplus of tissues, and maybe even some counselors on hand.
It would’ve meant some pretty big logistical changes—a finale where both Leia and Luke are on Starkiller Base during the duel between Rey and Ren would’ve been intriguing to see play out—but at the same time, considering how much of The Force Awakens’ key mystery is wrapped up on Luke deciding to exile himself from the galaxy at large (motivations for which will play a part in The Last Jedi), it would’ve been a bit weird for him to just show up for the climax. Still, Hamill’s version, especially in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s passing, would have been incredibly poignant.