Way back before JJ Abrams unleashed ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ upon the world and kicked off the Disney era of ‘Star Wars,’ there were many rumors floating around about scenes and characters that may appear in the newest film in the franchise, with none as intriguing as the rumor that Abrams had cast an actor to play a younger version of Luke Skywalker. Now, thanks to a leaked photo of the actor in question, named Robert Boulter, in full costume and make-up as Luke from the lightsaber duel in ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ (brought to us by the Twitter account of ‘First Showing’s’ Adam Frazier), we know that originally Rey’s Force vision from the film was supposed to include that younger version of Luke.
Check out the Tweet for yourself below:
Rey’s “Force Vision” in THE FORCE AWAKENS originally included Luke & Vader’s duel from The Empire Strikes Back. The scene was cut but thanks to Reddit, we’re finally getting our first look at what ESB Luke would have looked like in TFA, played by Robert Boulter. Wild stuff. pic.twitter.com/oMWl7cM72Q
— Adam Frazier (@AdamFrazier) November 26, 2018
Of course, in the final vision, we do see Rey briefly visit the hallways of Cloud City where the duel takes place, but she does not linger there long. One cannot help but wonder if Abrams had originally planned to have young Luke confront her in the vision, or at least speak to her, because if he wanted to just show shots of that duel he could have just reused footage from ‘Empire.’ Clearly, he needed a new Luke to have a more active role in his original version of Rey’s vision but whatever the purpose was, we will never know as young Luke was cut from the film. As to whether Robert Boulter would actually get to play young Luke or whether he was just the body double that ILM would digitally insert a young Mark Hamill face onto is also not known, though the technology was clearly there since they used it in ‘Rogue One’ for young Leia (though even then the face looked a bit too “uncanny valley” for most fans).
What are your thoughts on the idea of seeing young Luke in ‘The Force Awakens?’ Would you have been ok to see another actor in the role? Or would you have wanted the CGI face treatment? Make sure to check out the actual vision of Rey’s that made it into the movie below, and then feel free to share your thoughts on the whole idea in the comments section!