Mark Hamill dropped this nugget of information via Twitter on October 8, 2021, corroborating a claim about the opening sequence of “The Force Awakens” made by @UberFacts. “Fact Check: TRUE,” he wrote first and foremost, going on to explain the scene in detail. “As my hand hurtled through the stratosphere, the flesh & bone burn away & the lightsaber impales the surface of an unnamed planet,” Hamill said, jokingly adding, “Just imagine: Had this sequence been retained, I would’ve had bookended cameos, plus TWICE the screen time!”
Kicking off the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade on a shot of Luke Skywalker’s severed hand — the one he lost during his famous duel with Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back” — would have been a smart move in theory. After all, it would have provided a bit of context as to how Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) wound up with the Skywalker lightsaber to give to Rey later in the story. At the same time, that’s a pretty morbid description of the hand falling to pieces — one that would have been even harder to look at had director J.J. Abrams and his team kept it in.
Perhaps someday we’ll learn how Maz came to own one of the most enigmatic weapons in all of popular culture, but until that day comes, feel free to add this scrapped scene to your “Star Wars” headcanon.