I don't usually do the showing off thing when it comes to scoops being correct - no TOLDJAs or whatever - because I'm just passing along information. I'm only telling you guys what I'm hearing, I'm not doing some sort of divination or mind reading or tasseomancy, I'm just repeating what I've been told. Sometimes the people who tell me stuff are wrong, but usually they're right.
But there was one scoop that I ran that got a lot of blowback at the time, and I felt slightly burnt by the whole situation. The rest of the scoop was more or less fully confirmed when the movie came out, but this one piece didn't match up with the finished film, and it was the one piece that a lot of people focused on because it seemed so outlandish. It was, as my friend Film Crit Hulk says, a tangible detail:
Imagine the standard Star Wars crawl, and when it ends the camera pans up to the stars. But instead of a spaceship zooming into frame we see... a hand! A severed hand, tumbling through space. A severed hand gripping a light saber.
The infamous severed hand! If you're active on Twitter or Reddit or a number of Star Wars fan sites you've probably seen this hand thing become a bit of a joke. It seems so silly! The rest of the report, by the way, was right on the money:
That hand falls onto a desert planet, where it is discovered by characters who will be our heroes. One is Daisy Ridley. The other is John Boyega, who is playing someone trying to change his path in life (again, I'm keeping it vague here). They recognize the light saber as a Jedi relic and decide to return it to the proper people.
Their quest takes them off world, and they meet up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, who aren't flying around in the Millenium Falcon anymore but are piloting... well, that could be a spoiler. I'll leave it. Anyway, Han and Chewie recognize the light saber as Luke's, and they say they haven't seen their friend in thirty years, since the events of Return of the Jedi.
So begins a quest to find the missing Jedi Master. Meanwhile, on an ice planet, nefarious forces are building a super weapon, one capable of destroying not planets but entire solar systems...
But the hand! The hand haunted me. I talked to people behind the scenes who confirmed to me that I had it right, but with stuff like this you always want an on the record statement. And today, as May the 4th gift to me, Mark Hamill did just that:
Talking to The Sun Hamill explains how the first script for The Force Awakens he read opened:
“I can tell you now that in the original opening shot of 7, the first thing that came into frame was a hand with a lightsaber, a severed hand that enters the atmosphere, and then the hand and bone burns away and goes sticking into the surface of Jakku” he added. “and this alien hand comes in, don’t know if it was Maz but it was an alien hand who takes the light saber way, and then the movie proceeds as you see it.”
And he said:
One website had the first 15 minutes of The Force Awakens totally accurate.
Yup, this one.
Anyway, I almost never do this, but reading Hamill confirming that 2014 scoop made me pretty happy, especially on Star Wars Day. Feels good, man.