Two of the first people to know George Lucas was planning to return to the Galaxy Far, Far Away?
Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Mark Hamill (‘Luke’) tells EW that he sat down with Lucas and “Star Wars” co-star Carrie Fisher (‘Leia’) in August to talk about a possible return of the Skywalker siblings. Hamill, to say the least, was shocked when Lucas announced yesterday they’d be sequelizing “Return of the Jedi” (1983).
Actor and voice-over artist Hamill isn’t sure why Lucas decided to tell him and Fisher the news, suggesting it’s not necessarily because he wants them to be involved. But, personally, the fact that Hamill and Fisher were there, and not Harrison Ford – who Lucas knows would turn down a chance to reprise Han Solo, says to me Lucas could be getting his ducks in a row.
Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about — which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor — or the 3-D releases. So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about. We’ll see. I’m anxious to know what’s going on, but the main story [yesterday] was the sale to Disney. I have mixed feelings about that, but they haven’t done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar. It’s one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense.
Hamill, who still doesn’t know whether he’ll be back or not to reprise lightsaber-wielding Luke, says yesterday’s Disney news came as a surprise.
Oh my gosh, what a shock that was! I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else. He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] VII, VIII, and IX, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them. He seems to be in a really good place. He’s really happy. And that’s nice because I know that when we were making the movies, he was not a jolly guy on set. [Laughs] I always felt badly for him because he agonizes over details, and I’m sure after imagining it in his head for so many years, to see it realized — he’d look up and just hang his head and groan. Harrison [Ford], Carrie [Fisher], and I were always trying to cheer him up and joke him out of his doom and gloom. I missed his call yesterday, but I spoke to him maybe three weeks ago. But until we know more, it’s hard to make any comment other than congratulations to George.
Yesterday I spoke in detail about the new “Star Wars” trilogy, toying with the possibility that the films might be based on some of the literary novels that follow the events of “Return of the Jedi”. Seems that won’t be the case. Although he’s only involved in a consultancy position, Lucas did come up with the outline for the next three films and it’s, according to a Lucasfilm source (via E!), an original story (not based on anything that happened in the books). So, no Thrawn then?