Star Wars: A New Hope nearly had a VERY different beginning
George Lucas had something else planned for Star Wars.
The opening crawl of Star Wars is one of the most iconic movie moments of all time. Matched with John Williams soaring score, there's no better way to begin a movie. And even the Fox fanfare adds something to the beginning, although that has since been swapped for a Lucafilm logo.
All iconic, then, but George Lucas wanted something else to begin Star Wars on the big screen. Picture the scene: you have your popcorn in your lap, all ready to watch a space opera like no other and... a Daffy Duck cartoon plays.
That was the initial plan, according to Mark Hamill who tweeted about the plans.
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. #TrueStoryhttps://t.co/5VcGKH1yxf
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 5, 2021
The cartoon in question would have been WB space parody Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century. The idea was to show that the following movie wasn't at all poe faced about its subject matter. Unfortunately, due to rights issues this never actually happened.
Lucas has always been a tinkerer when it comes to Star Wars. He added the A New Hope coda to Star Wars once the movie became a trilogy. He re-imagined the Original Trilogy with new special effects in the '90s, for better or worse. He then remastered the re-imagined Original Trilogy for its Blu-ray release, for better or worse.
Would a Daffy Duck cartoon been a step too far? We will never know but without it, the movies became some of the most successful of all time.
Oh, and he did kind of get his own space duck movie made in the end, by exec producing 1986's much maligned Howard The Duck.