Mark Hamill’s whole career changed back in 1977 when he was cast as Luke Skywalker in an obscure movie called Star Wars. His full return to the franchise this December in The Last Jedi will mark 30 years since his first appearance. He spoke with ABC on his return, and he also spoke about the loss of his beloved co-star Carrie Fisher.
Hamill starts by reflecting on his audition for the first movie:
The thing is, they got it down to two sets of three: a Han, a Luke and a Leia. There were three other actors, and then Carrie, Harrison and myself. And there was never a mix or a match. You go with one team or another. It’s just weird. I did a TV series called “The Texas Wheelers,” which I thought at the time was really groundbreaking. We got canceled so quickly, but if that had been a success, I wouldn’t have been able to do “Star Wars.” Fate is a funny thing. Who knew?
He then speaks on how it feels to play the world renowned character of Luke Skywalker again:
A thing that felt maybe wrong about coming back was the fact that the original trilogy had a beginning, a middle and an end. But there’s two ways of looking at that. On the one hand, it had closure. But if you look at it another way, it’s the story of how Luke went from becoming a farm boy to a Jedi and then the story ends. It would be like telling the story of how James Bond got his license to kill and became 007, and the story ends.
When they asked me to come back, it was scary. I thought, “Gee, it was hard to catch lightning in a bottle the first time. I don’t know if this is such a wise idea.” When we left, even if they were going to do a third trilogy, it wouldn’t have anything to do with us. George (Lucas) never said you’re going to do three more. He did mention maybe coming back and doing a cameo and handing Excalibur to the next young hope. This is back when we were doing the first one and I thought, “What is this supposed to be?”
One thing that is evident about The Last Jedi so far is that Luke is a changed person. He seems much darker than when we last saw him. Hamill commented on Luke’s change:
Absolutely. Luke changed, I think, more than the other characters in the original trilogy, from callow farm boy to a Jedi in training to finally a Jedi master. What you’re talking about is what really fascinated me. Between “Return of the Jedi” and “Force Awakens,” there’s just decades of history that’s unknown. So I was wondering how they’re going to handle all this. Now, obviously, with “Force Awakens,” J.J. (Abrams) had a full plate. It was inevitable that they would push me down the line. I was sorry I wasn’t able to work with any of the original actors again. But it’s not about us anymore. In this new one, I was saying to Rian Johnson: I need to know my backstory. It was kind of unclear. You read where he is now and what he’s doing now and sort of have to fill in the blanks for yourself. So I did do a backstory myself. It’s not about Luke anymore, so it’s not really important. But I had to make sense of it for myself. What Rian came up with, I was stunned.
Luke is my most anticipated character to see in The Last Jedi. I really want to see how much this character has changed and how his change will affect others, like Rey. In The Force Awakens, Han and Leia didn’t really have much change in their characters. Sure, there was evidence of a bumpy past, but, for the most part, they still acted the same as when we last saw them. I’m hoping to see Luke as a changed person all the way through, and I wouldn’t even be apposed to seeing him turn to the dark side if they handle it well.
Back in December, the world lost a beloved actress, Carrie Fisher. She was near and dear to those around her, especially to her cast members. Mark Hamill commented on how it feels to be putting out a Star Wars movie without her:
It is different. She was irreplaceable. There can never be a proper reunion anymore. It’s tragic. I hate that it adds an air of melancholy to the film because it doesn’t deserve it. I know for a fact she would obviously want us to be having fun. She was all about laughter and enjoying the moment. We’re all sort of having this communal period of grief. In a way, it sort of reflects the movies themselves, which were about triumphs and tragedies. They are about a family — a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.
It truly is heartbreaking to know that this will be Carrie Fisher’s last time on screen.
Source – ABC
The Last Jedi releases in theaters on December 15th of this year.