Star Wars Had To Reshoot A Scene Because Luke's Last Name Was Still Starkiller

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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Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.