Mark Hamill Admits Car Accident Changed His Appearance In 'Star Wars' And 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Oct 29, 2015 10:40 AM EDT | By Nobelle Borines


Anyone who has seen 'Star Wars: A New Hope' and 'The Empire Strikes Back' may have noticed that there was an obvious change in Luke Skywalker's appearance. Mark Hamill had looked young and chiseled in the first movie, which was released only three years before the sequel, which showed an older-looking Luke Skywalker.

The truth was, Mark Hamill had suffered a car accident right before filming for 'A New Hope' wrapped. The actor spoke about the accident to Gossip magazine, explaining that it caused damage to his face.

"What happened was that I was on the wrong freeway," Hamill said. "I was way out in the sticks somewhere and there were no cars and no traffic, thank God. I was going about 65-70 mph... I was speeding, going too fast... and what happened, I think, was that I tried to negotiate an off-ramp and lost control, tumbled over, and went off the road. I fractured my nose and my cheek."

Mark Hamill also confirmed that his accident may have led to George Lucas writing in the Wampa scene in 'The Empire Strikes Back,' where Luke is attacked by a Wampa, severely damaging his face.

However, the 'Star Wars' director had a different story to tell in the Blu-Ray edition of 'The Empire Strikes Back.'

According to George Lucas, the Wampa scene did help in explaining away the change in Luke Skywalker's appearance but it was not written solely for that purpose.

"At the end of 'A New Hope,' he had been in a car accident and I knew Mark was going to look a little different than he was in the first film," Lucas said. "But my feeling was some time had passed, they've been in the Rebellion fighting, that kind of thing, so the change was justifiable."

George Lucas admitted that the Wampa scene helped, but it wasn't the only reason for the shocking attack.

"There's a scene in the film where Mark gets beat up by the monster, which helps even more, but that wasn't really the meaning of why we wrote the monster in the beginning," he said. "We needed something to keep the film suspenseful at the beginning while the Empire is looking for them."

Whatever the true reason behind the Wampa scene, fans are grateful for the fright it delivered right at the beginning of 'The Empire Strikes Back.'

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