One of the more stunning scenes in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens occurred in its final moments, as Mark Hamill finally returned to the screen as Luke Skywalker. Although he was only seen for a few seconds in that film, Hamill admits he was hesitant to reprise his iconic role after three decades.
After not being involved in the Star Wars prequels, Hamill and Carrie Fisher were invited to lunch by franchise creator George Lucas, before Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm, and asked whether they would be up for a return for the new trilogy. “I was completely stunned,” Hamill recalled to The New York Times. “Carrie, not a minute went by — she slapped the table and goes, ‘I’m in!’ I said, ‘Carrie, poker face!’”
“I was just really scared,” he added. “I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote.”
There was also the fear that audiences wouldn’t want to pay to see aged versions of Luke, Han Solo, and Leia. “No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star,” Hamill said. “It’s sad.”
He ultimately rested his hopes on Harrison Ford declining an invitation to return for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To his surprise, however, Ford said yes. “Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no?” Hamill asked. “I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.”
Opening Dec. 15, director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi features returning cast members Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, joined by franchise newcomers Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, Benicio del Toro as “DJ” and Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.
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