Mace Windu and his purple lightsaber definitely made an impact on the “Star Wars” prequels, but actor Samuel L. Jackson admits he had no idea which character he was playing until he arrived on the set of “The Phantom Menace.”
Appearing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Jackson revealed he met with George Lucas after mentioning on a talk show that he’d like to appear in the new “Star Wars” film.
“I went out to do ‘Sphere’ in Vallejo [California], which is very close to his ranch,” the actor recalls, “and I got a call saying, ‘George would like to meet you.’ So I went to his house, and he hadn’t really completed the script. He said, ‘I don’t know what you do in it,’ and I’m like, ‘Look, make me a Stormtrooper. I just wanna run across screen, nobody even needs to know. Just let me go.'”
A few months later, Jackson received a call to fly to London because Lucas was ready to begin production. “I didn’t see a script, I didn’t see anything,” he said. “I got on a plane, I showed up.”
Ushered into a dressing room, a befuddled Jackson was presented with the familiar robes of a Jedi. “Oh, wait,” he said. “So I’m a Jedi?”
Shown some of Mace Windu’s dialogue, he was then taken into a room to meet with Frank Oz and the Yoda puppet. That’s where he was presented with a case containing “about eight” lightsabers and told to select one: “I about died.”
Jackson, who recently observed the young actors in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” “to go to lightsaber fight school,” kept his own weapon from the prequels. The prop department even inscribed “BMF” on the lightsaber’s “on” switch.
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