It would’ve been one heck of an icebreaker.
Mark Hamill has confirmed via his personal Twitter account that director George Lucas originally requested a specific Daffy Duck cartoon to play before every screening of the original Star Wars movie. The cartoon in question? The iconic space adventure parody Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century. According to Hamill and other sources, Lucas made this request as “an icebreaker to let the audience know [that] what was coming was less than dead serious.”
Hamill went on to confirm exactly why Lucas’ vision was never made a reality. “I was disappointed when we couldn’t get the rights to it & it didn’t happen #TrueStory” he let his Twitter followers know in the same tweet. Hamill’s tweet was actually a quote tweet of the Toon In With Me Twitter account, which is full of fun information about your favorite classic cartoons. The Lucas factoid was an afterthought in a tweet about how the Duck Dodgers cartoon “was ranked number 4 of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time by animation professionals!”
The tweet Hamill sent out helped clarify rumors which commenters on the original Toon In With Me tweet had already speculated: that the reason the cartoon was not included in the pre-screening of Star Wars was a licensing rights issue. Other attempts at infusing levity into one of the most famous movie franchises of all time — such as adding comic relief characters like Jar Jar Binks — have been mostly looked at with disapproval from fans in the more recent past. It’s uncertain whether or not the original, die-hard Star Wars fanbase would have taken this cartoon in stride during the movie’s original cinematic release or whether it would have been balked at back then.
The very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, premiered in theaters (without the aforementioned Daffy Duck cartoon) on May 25, 1977, and is currently available to stream on Disney Plus. Check out Hamill’s original tweet below:
George really did want this classic Daffy Duck cartoon shown before every screening of #SW. It would’ve been an icebreaker to let the audience know what was coming was less than dead serious. I was disappointed when we couldn’t get the rights to it & it didn’t happen. #TrueStory https://t.co/5VcGKH1yxf
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 5, 2021
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