It's a commonly known piece of trivia that when George Lucas originally wrote Star Wars he named his hero Luke Starkiller, before eventually changing it to Skywalker. However, many may not have realized just how late that name change took place. Mark Hamill recently revealed that the name change took place during production, so late, in fact, that they had to reshoot the scene where Luke introduces himself to Princess Leia as Luke Starkiller.
The fact that the name change to Skywalker from Starkiller took place isn't news, but the fact that the change led to reshoots isn't as widely known. The fact is that the last name Skywalker isn't actually spoken all that much, so the fact that the change took place in the middle of shooting wouldn't have had a major impact on the production. Of course, as one fan points out on Twitter, it also means that there's a potentially large portion of the finished film that Mark Hamill may have shot believing his character was named Luke Starkiller, it's just that the name doesn't come up.
George Lucas says he decided to change the name because it had some unpleasant connotations that he had not expected. Specifically, an association with Charles Manson, as somebody who was a "star killer" so to speak. Starkiller is a great name, but it has a pretty hard edge to it that certainly doesn't feel like Luke as we meet him in the original Star Wars. Skywalker works much better in that regard.
The name Starkiller has not gone unused within the Star Wars universe since 1977. It became the name of the player character in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video games, and when those were excised from canon, it was used as the name of the planet-sized Death Star weapon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
For his part, Mark Hamill admits that he didn't care for the name change at the time. As it turns out, Rian Johnson isn't the first director to do things with Hamill's character that the actor wasn't so sure about.
Today, it's hard to imagine the character being named anything other than Luke Skywalker. It's one of the most popular names in all of pop culture. Still, it's hard to argue that Luke Starkiller sounds like one intergalactic badass. Which name do you prefer? Let us know in the poll below.
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