Mark Hamill Regrets Maiming That Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back

Image: Disney
Image: Disney

If Luke Skywalker hadn’t learned how to move objects using the Force, it stands to reason that he probably would have died on Hoth after being captured by that wampa. Thankfully, the young Jedi was able to free himself, but according to actor Mark Hamill, he never thought his character was supposed to have killed the wild creature.


Last night, in response to a tweet about a cake shaped like a severed wampa’s arm, Hamill explained how, while filming The Empire Strikes Back, he was explicitly told that Luke was merely trying to singe the wampa’s fur in order to scare it off. It wasn’t until later that the actor learned how Luke ultimately ended up chopping the poor animal’s arm off.

When you go back and actually watch the scene as it was originally cut for the film’s premiere in 1980, you can see how the arm chopping scene could have been added in without Hamill knowing. After Luke swings his lightsaber at the wampa, the scene jumps to another shot of the arm plopping onto the ground. We never actually, you know, see it being properly cut off. You’ve gotta check out the extended cut if you wanna see all that wampa gore in its full glory:

Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.


It kinda raises the question: What did wampas eat when there arn’t rebel soldiers around? There isn’t enough life on the planet to fit in a cargo ship. So how does it have such a large apex predator?