It’s difficult to imagine the kind of pressure that comes with being an integral part of the foundation of one of the most iconic film franchises of all time. As one third of the original Star Wars trio, Mark Hamill created a character that’s become bedrock to the continuation of this space opera – so his return was surely integral to the success of the reboot. However, he now concedes that he almost turned down Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the planned sequels that are following it.
“I was just really scared. I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote. … No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star. It’s sad.”
As it turned out, Hamill barely featured in The Force Awakens – though his presence was felt throughout – and it was actually septuagenarian Harrison Ford who famously came a cropper, and was injured on the set of the Millennium Falcon. While Hamill had initially assumed that Ford would be the one to reject the movie, he was surprised to find him, and Carrie Fisher, enthusiastically on board – which left his choice rather limited.
“Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.”
Hamill may have been largely absent from The Force Awakens, but The Last Jedi brings him back to the fore – in a similar way to the prominence enjoyed by Harrison Ford in The Force Awakens. Episode IX would have, in turn, focused more clearly on Carrie Fisher – but these plans have had to change, since she sadly passed away at the end of 2016.
So, with Mark Hamill as the last member of the original trio to remain involved in the Star Wars saga, where will the end of The Last Jedi find him? All will be revealed when the film arrives in theatres on December 15th.