The Star Wars saga gave our heroes the happy ending they deserved in Return of the Jedi, though Mark Hamill envisioned a much darker fate for his character.
As you can recall, most of the movie revolved around Luke’s attempt to turn his father to the light side again, all the while struggling to defeat the darkness within himself. When the Jedi confronted Darth Vader and Palpatine, he came inches from turning to anger and hatred, and almost killed his father to replace him by the Emperor’s side.
A lot of fans at the time had theorized that Luke would eventually turn to the dark side, and the big twist would involve the heroes trying to save or neutralize him. It goes without saying that most were glad to see the last of the Jedi resist the pull of the darkness and come out on top. Except, Hamill complained to George Lucas about the predictability of the story, but the creator dismissed those concerns for a specific reason, one that we fans tend to forget from time to time.
“I remember complaining to George about something in Revenge of the Jedi. And I said, ‘It’s so predictable and pat,’ and he said, ‘Mark, don’t forget. These things were made for children.’ His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids! Adolescents and younger. And we’re bringing our adult sensibilities to it and that’s where we go wrong,” Hamill explained in a recent interview.
Maybe that’s why Lucas ultimately decided to change the title as well, as Revenge of the Jedi wouldn’t exactly embody Star Wars‘ altruistic values. The actor then praised Lucas for his vision, noting:
“He’s the man. He knows what he wants, and I realized he was right. He said, ‘All fairy tales get tied up neatly at the end.’ Because I thought after Empire we should really go crazy as possible with the last one, but there’s a reason why George is where he is and I’m where I am.”
Of course, Luke went on to briefly embrace that darkness when confronting his nephew in the Sequel Trilogy timeline, but he redeemed himself at the end of Episode VIII and finally became one with the Force.