Mark Hamill Jokes About Luke Skywalker Kissing His Sister in Empire Strikes Back
Mark Hamill shares the original trailer for The Empire Strikes Back, but politely asks fans to forget the awkward part where he kisses his sister.
Star Wars’ Mark Hamill recently cracked a joke about kissing his sister in The Empire Strikes Back. Considered by many to be the best film in the entire Skywalker saga, 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back was both the first sequel to 1977’s original Star Wars, and the first-time creator George Lucas had stepped back from directorial duties, handing that role over to his former film school professor Irvin Kirshner. Despite production being beset by difficulties, such as the deaths of original screenwriter Leigh Bracket and second-unit director John Barry, and delays due to a fire at Elstree Studios, the film was well-received by fans and outstripped the box-office performance of its predecessor more than three-fold in its opening weekend.
Set three years after the destruction of the first Death Star at the conclusion of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back opens to find the Rebel Alliance in hiding on the ice-planet of Hoth. When Hamill’s Luke Skywalker is injured by an indigenous creature known as a Wampa, he shares a kiss with Princess Leia Organa following his recovery. While the kiss was simply intended to make Han Solo jealous, the full implications of the encounter became even more problematic when Leia is revealed to be Luke’s twin sister during Return of the Jedi.
More than aware of the awkward nature of this infamous kissing scene, Mark Hamill mocked the encounter while sharing the video of the original cinema trailer for The Empire Strikes Back. Claiming to have never seen the trailer before, Hamill retweeted it for the “incredibly dynamic” voice-over performance of his co-star Harrison Ford, but asked fans to “please ignore the part where I make a move on my sister.”
The act of Luke Skywalker kissing his twin sister has long been a source of many jokes throughout the Star Wars fandom, though it is important to remember the act was entirely innocent, no matter how cringe-worthy. Not only did Luke not know that Leia was his sister at the time, but when The Empire Strikes Back was first written, Leia’s character was never even intended to be part of the Skywalker family. According to the film’s producer, Gary Kurtz, George Lucas had planned for Luke’s real sister to be revealed in his original plans for a sequel trilogy.
It was only when Lucas decided to wrap up the original trilogy’s story with Return of the Jedi that Leia was rewritten to become Luke’s sister, which in turn cast a whole new light on that famous kiss. While The Empire Strikes Back still holds up as one of, if not the best films in the entire Star Wars franchise, one thing it will never live down is having its lead character get uncomfortably familiar with his sister. No doubt it will continue to be the butt of many Star Wars jokes still yet to come.