When Star Wars: A New Hope first hit theaters, Mark Hamill was the star. Not only did the story focus on the journey of young moisture farmer Luke Skywalker and his mysterious destiny, but Hamill himself was one of the more well-known members of the cast.
Strangely, Luke took a back seat somewhere along the line to the blaster toting scoundrel Han Solo and his own bikini-clad twin, Princess Leia. Some even argue that Luke is one of the most underrated characters in the original trilogy.
Hamill has never seemed to mind that Luke takes a back seat to other characters in the franchise. In fact, he went on to build a lucrative career as a voice actor, and became one of the coolest geeks out there, embracing his role as an icon to die-hard fans for whom Star Wars is a fixture in their lives. Hamill recently spoke on the matter, and on his return to that iconic role, in an interview with The New York Times.
It’s clearly not for everyone- I get that, but the passion of it is just astonishing. The way it’s become part of the fabric of their lives- ‘I met my wife at this movie and we named our daughter Leia’ – It’s moving.
In December Luke will speak once more, for the first time since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, in which Luke finally achieves his Jedi status. Fans are already nervous about the direction the character will take, with trailers teasing Luke’s own displeasure with the Jedi, but it is nothing compared to how nervous Hamill was himself.
While his costar, the late Carrie Fisher, was on board from the start, the idea of returning to the character was a little less exciting for Hamill.
I was 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.
Hamill was sure that his refusal wouldn’t be the biggest news, sure that Harrison Ford was not likely to accept the invitation. He was wrong.
Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerdom.
His first reading of the Force Awakens script didn’t do much to assuage his fears. His appearance is little more than a cameo and Hamill was ever a man who knows his fans.
If it smacks the audience as a cheat or a gimmick, if there’s a big grones in the house, the egg’s on my face, not J.J (Abrams)’
In the end, the highly anticipated moment proved the fans want them some Skywalker,
When they talk about you that much in a movie before you even show up, that’s fabulous.
In an interview with Star Wars.com Hamill talked about what it meant to come back to the role, with so much of his story untold.
Okay, well, your job when you read a script is to figure out what is required of your character to make the screenplay as successful as it can be when it’s realized on film. What’s my role in the overall scope of things?
The problem here was that he’s had, like you say, the 30-plus years of history, which is never really spelled out. J.J. [Abrams in The Force Awakens] used the character, it was so ambiguous. I look back now and I say, “What else was he supposed to do?” I mean, here he has to come up with this whole new set of characters. He has to finish the Han Solo storyline. If he had to also include me, it would have been just laden with exposition. Better to shove Luke down the road and resolve his story later.
In less then a month Luke’s story will be told. Fans are so eager to know the truth of how he ended up on that island there is even an entire website dedicated to counting down the minutes until the premiere.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15th.
Images: Lucasfilm, Disney
Source: The New York Times