While Mark Hamill’s return as Luke Skywalker actually took place in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the fact that it lasted for little more than a second means that we will only really catch up with the beloved character in “The Last Jedi.”
It turns out, though, that Hamill spent years assuming he would get a chance to play the Jedi again. There was a good reason, too, as after the release of the prequels between 1999 and 2005, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas told Hamill that he wasn’t going to be working on the long touted sequels to “Episodes 4,” ”5,” and “6.”
“I never expected to come back,” Hamill recently told me. “Because even if they did a trilogy after us it would be all new characters. There were no plans to have Luke, Leia, and Han back. As far as I know. I mean I certainly wasn’t under that impression. So it was like, ‘Whatever’.”
“George told me he was going to stop making the movies when he was doing ‘Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith.’ He told me, ‘This is it for me. I am not doing ‘7,’ ‘8,’ and ‘9’.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Well I don’t want to be doing them in my 70s. Blah, blah, blah’.”
Rather than being annoyed that he wouldn’t get a chance to portray the sci-fi icon again, Mark Hamill completely understood Lucas’ predicament. Hamill recalled that he told his old pal, “George, if anyone has earned their retirement, it’s you. Enjoy life.”
Little did Hamill know that Lucas would sell Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company for $4.06 billion in 2012, which provoked the studio to greenlit “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” then “Rogue One,” and now “The Last Jedi,” all of which means that the future of the franchise has never looked rosier.
We’ll get to see if things are looking quite so good for Luke Skywalker when “The Last Jedi” is finally released on December 15.