Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last couple of days, you’ll have heard Disney has bought Lucasfilm and that plans for Star Wars Episodes VII-IX are in the works, with the first of those films arriving in 2015. There’s been massive amounts of speculation, most of which is based on very little info, so EW decided to go to Mark Hamill and find out what he knows. His answers suggest there may be a role for him in this new trilogy, although that’s far from confirmed yet.
Hamill says he and Carrie Fisher first got a heads-up about the new films a few months ago, “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 Star Wars: Episode VII, Star Wars: Episode VIII, and Star Wars: Episode 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.”
That’s far from saying saying he will be back as Luke, but that fact Lucas took him and Fisher to one side has ignited speculation that the only reason to tell them was because he wanted them back (although it could have just been good business, to ensure they weren’t completely blindsided.
Hamill doesn’t know anything about the plot though, simply saying, “He was just talking about writers and the fact that he wouldn’t be directing. I guess he wanted us to know before everybody else knew. He said, “Now you can’t tell anybody!” [laughs] Even now I’m nervous about saying anything. I just don’t know!”
There have also been suggestions from Lucas biographer Dale Pollock that the story picks up when Luke Skywalker is a 40-year-old man. That’s based on story treatments for the films he read several years ago when working with Lucas. If true, Hamill may be too old to play the role at 61, but it’s always possible Lucas has tinkered with the treatments. At the moment it’s all speculation at best, but don’t be shocked if it turns out Hamill and Fisher end up returning in some capacity.
It’s also been confirmed that while The Thrawn Trilogy of novels is normally seen as the official account of what Luke, Leia and co. got up to after Episode VI, these new films are original tales (and as whatever Lucas says immediately becomes canon, his treatment supplant anything else).