Mark Hamill on returning to Luke Skywalker for Star Wars: Episode VII

old-luke-skywalkerEarlier today we brought you a promotional image for Disney World’s Star Wars Weekends featuring a lightsaber-wielding Mark Hamill alongside Disney mascot Mickey Mouse, and now we have some comments from Hamill about returning to a galaxy far, far away for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII more than thirty years after he last donned the Jedi robes as Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi:

“In my mind, there was a beginning, and a middle and an end for me and my association with George’s trilogy. It was firmly in the past. When the prequels came out, I watched from a distance, but I was totally fine,” Hamill tells The Orlando Sentinel, before going on to discuss his preparation for Episode VII. “It was firmly in the past. When the prequels came out, I watched from a distance, but I was totally fine… I’ve altered my diet. I’ve started working out. There’s that. But on the film itself: I toured the departments, I’ve looked at wardrobe, and I saw the creature shop. I went around and met all the cast people, saw the technicians working on some new things. I hadn’t seen Tony Daniels or Carrie [Fisher] or Harrison [Ford] or Peter Mayhew in ages. … I was wonderful to see them again, because I didn’t expect to. Again, this is all so unexpected. It’s like getting out that pair of pants you haven’t worn in five years and finding a 20-dollar bill in the pocket. Oh, this is nice.”

Hamill then went on to admit that one of the factors in his return to Star Wars was fans of the saga, stating that: “I’m aware that a lot of people don’t care one way or another, but for the UPFs – the ultra passionate fans – they would come after me like the angry townspeople with torches in the old Frankenstein pictures. I would have a lot to answer for if I didn’t at least try to make the effort. It’s not like I had a choice. I feel like I was called up for service by the Selective Service. I haven’t seen those movies since they were in movie theaters. I don’t watch them on home theater or DVD. There are people who are far more expert in it than I am. They know more, way more, about them than I do, and they care more. … You don’t have to love them, but I am surprised sometimes at how vehemently they get if they’re not satisfied, which is scary. I have this feeling that no matter what we do there’s going to be a faction that really is disappointed. You just can’t live up to that. Any kind of reunion type endeavor, whatever it is … you can never go home again.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is set for release on December 18th 2015, with Hamill joined by returning stars Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) joined by Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Max von Sydow (The Exorcist).

Around the Internet…

  • Luke Owen

    I don’t really like that he basically said, “I did it because it had to” rather that, “I did it because I want to”. I’m still optimistic and I can’t wait to see the movie, but actors being forced into roles they don’t care about means unenthusiastic performances.

    • Meh

      And his’ other comment about not seeing them since they were in theaters and not knowing much about them. I’ve got to call baloney on that. Not knowing about the series that made him? Sure he was in The Big Red One and voiced some cartoons… but those are minor compared to Star Wars.

      • AL

        There is nothing minor about his voicing of the joker. He did it for years and is widely hailed as the greatest joker voice ever.

      • Logic

        His voice acting career far outweighs his live action career. His 20+ years as The Joker in multiple formats are also far more successful financially than all of his SW movies combined.

        • Timothy Steele

          didn’t even know he did voice acting as the joker because well…. who gives a fuck about dc.

          • tevii

            I do, because DC animated films are better than Marvel live action films.

          • Jamiemsm

            i second that. i love DC animated films. and also, i allways get a little sad when i hear the joker and its not mark hamill. :/

          • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

            So you think Justice League Doom is a better movie then Days Of Future Past and Captain America Winter Soldier?

          • agent777

            Even as a lifelong Marvelite I have to admit that Batman is the best superhero. Period.

          • zid

            …that’s a silly attitude to take. Quit being a corporate sheep, and open your mind. Both Marvel AND DC have a lot of great characters and storys. You’re dumb if you miss out because of a brand,

          • DonDrapersAcidTrip

            lol unlike the artistic achievement that is fucking star wars

      • reesescape01949

        LOL minor? His voice acting career outweighs his live career.

      • Christopher Matteson

        He probably knows more about the movies than the average fan. But there are fans who read comics, books, and watch shows bases off of star wars. Mythology wise, theres a lot of material floating around that covers a wider since of the galaxy than story takes place in. Im sure thats what he’s clueless about.

      • Picard Alpha

        More like a series that destroyed him, not a single Star Wars actor managed to build a career on Star Wars alone. Even Ford did it with other movies, Star Wars movies are nowhere near the best of his performance.

        • Walter Edvalson

          Sorry, I know you think you had a great point, but your comment made no sense – “… not a single Star Wars actor managed to build a career on Star Wars alone.? Did you reread that after you wrote it? They all built their careers on Star Wars. If it weren’t for Star Wars you would have heard nothing about any of them.
          Yes, Hamil and Fisher have not been big stars, but I know of them because of Star Wars. And if not for Star Wars, Ford may never have had other movies that made him famous. One of his first – and maybe his first – was American Graffiti and it didn’t make him a star, but Star Wars did.
          Again, your comment was almost pointless … eh, no … it was pointless.

          • Picard Alpha

            Harrison Ford’s performance was already noted before Star Wars rolled around, and he would have made name regardless of Star Wars. But what well-known movies did Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher or any other Star Wars cast members did have after Star Wars? Even Hayden Christensen had movies (and TV series) before Star Wars.

            Three movies does not equal “building a career” if after that your career drops to the level it was at before you had those movies, or even below that level.

          • mickeba

            Mark was in “Texas Wheelers”. With Gary Busey.

        • Cliven

          Actually, Ford had gone back to being a carpenter after American
          Grafitti, and it was only SW that brought him back to acting! Lucas was
          convinced by a colleague to use Harrison as a sounding board in the
          readings with the other actors, as George knew him from AG, and he kind of just got the role by default.

          Ford ABSOLUTELY got a HUGE bump up from SW, tho admittedly it was probably Indiana Jones (“the other Lucas white meat”) that made him a big name, despite his not having been the 1st choice for the role (Tom Selleck was, but had to bow out). Indy’s more likable character probably sealed the deal, allowing Harrison to branch out. He had a great number of serious turkeys after RotLA and its sequels, tho he has certainly weathered the storm.

          Mark and Carrie didn’t really get much of a lift from SW, it is true, tho Mark may have gotten his awesome Joker gig partly based on name recognition from it.

          • Eddie

            I don’t think I could see Jones as anyone but Ford. I mean Selleck was great in Magnum P.I. but Ford was perfectly cast. His Star Wars work was good, but pales to his Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan work.

          • Cliven

            Agreed. Ford “fell into” a lot of roles that the intended actor (or, in the case of SW, an UNCAST other actor) would have ruined, or at least been somewhat mediocre in.

            While Harrison is a good actor, he is not the world’s best: he is more popular for being an immensely likable, reasonable yet courageous “everyman”. Tho Selleck actually has similar “down to earth” properties, and looks respectably rugged, he is (imo) too handsome to be considered “one of us” by most guys. Ford is. .just this guy, you know? Add to this, he has a very dry, skeptical semi-drawl that he pulls off quite well in the face of impossible circumstances. Very good at delivering “yeah, right” sort of lines.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip

        Not everyone is giant fucking nerd over the same shit as you

    • Ryan Perez

      Yeah, I didnt care for the wordage either. But, i feel his meaning was more…that he feels he owes it to his diehard fans. He never says he ‘didnt’ want to, just that he feels he ‘has’ to. I feel his commitment here, is akin to Hugh Jackman’s dedication to his fans. Not to the same degree, but similar.

      • HolyFranchiseBatman!

        I agree, I think he cares and will be delighted to be back. Really looking forward to seeing him as Luke again.

        • Ryan Perez

          Me too, my optimism is very high. The cast looks great, both old and new, and JJ will give this film the TLC that Lucas could never hope to, even in his best days.

          • Bahamut5098

            And with a million lens flares, too. Hooray!

          • Akai Koru

            I am so sick of people looking down on Lucas. The guy gave us Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ILM, Pixar (yeah he started that), THX, Skywalker Sound, Lucasarts and all people can process through their mind is that they didn’t feel like they did when they were 5-10 years old watching the first 3. Just sad people.

          • tevii

            I cannot agree more. The man revolutionized the entire industry, so lay off people. A new trilogy of movies, no matter what they were could not have lived up to the built up anticipation of 20 years. Now people are wondering so much that a new trilogy will have the advantage of surprising people.
            But until someone can change an entire industry or create something so iconic as Star Wars… sTFU…

          • ResurrectRider

            So, because you idolize the guy, i have to maintain the same opinion as you? He is a great idea man, but as a director, he falls flat. No, the films dont feel like they did when i was very young, and i wasnt expecting them to. But, i do have a higher standard for writing than what he produced in the prequel trilogy. I love the original trilogy, and i enjoy the prequel trilogy. I also enjoy Transformers, but do i think Michael Bay is a good director…not in the least. Lucas needed to let go of creative control a long time ago. Its just a difference of opinion, tis all. No matter how angry, or sick, it makes you…i dont have to like the guy as a director.

        • Timothy Steele

          I think he’s thrilled to be back and needed the money and this is like a nice deposit in his piggy bank. And I call bullshit that he never dreamed of playing this role again. I’ve been saying we’d see these three again for this particular role for the last 25 years.

          • jnzooger

            I agree with the bullshit call. Just look at when he played “Cock Knocker” in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Clearly he was thrilled to have a lightsabre again.

    • Wally Wingert

      Mark never turns in an “unenthusiastic performance” under any circumstances.

    • Christopher Matteson

      When he says “he has to” he’s referring to the feeling that die hard Star Wars fans have towards the film. There isn’t and option for excluding these characters. It’s his role to play, replacing anybody from the original movie or omitting them would start the film in a hole. He knows hes the only peopson that fans will accept as an older Luke. Thats Mark Hamill. He has to.

  • Will dathrill

    I don’t take his comments in a negative way. All he’s saying is that there is a fanatical ultra-hardcore group of fans out there that are practically stalking him…..every fan group has their extremists that aren’t happy with anything.

    And if you think Mark Hamill isn’t super happy to be playing Luke Skywalker again….c’mon get real. The guy has been making a great living as a voice actor but he hasn’t been in a movie in decades. This is a huge payday for him.

  • EIGHT INCHES FLACCID

    He will do fine; he’s a pretty good actor for having not done it much at all.
    Actors like Sam Worthington and Jai Courtney are getting roles left and right these days and they couldn’t act if their lives depended on it.

    • Joey Jacobson

      I totally agree with you on those two actors specifically. For a minute there Sam Worthington was all over the place. I am now seeing the Jai Courtney guy popping up with other action guys like Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis.. and now Terminator. with no special quality about either. and pretty wooden. I thought it was just me lol

  • regaltwo .

    Look, even a half-hearted performance by him will be better than what we saw from Hayden (Teen Ansgt) Christensen.

  • tman418

    Doesn’t really sound like he’s doing this because genuinely wants too…

    • auh2064

      I think he was just a little worried because he wasn’t in shape for it. But judging by the promo shot, he’s lost a ton of weight and is looking like your average jedi master. I think he’ll do a good job.

    • M’Quve

      I think Mark Hamill is going into this with some of the same reservations that some of us fans (other than the passionate onese) are having. Are these new Star Wars movies neccesary? Do we really need to see these characters again? Some of us are skeptical as to whether or not the Star Wars saga really has anything more to offer instead of recycling itself. We saw how pointless the prequels were.

      With the ultra passionate fans, you can never get too much of a good thing. But with the rest of us, we feel that once something has said all it’s gotta say, time to get off the stage. There’s only so much mileage you can get out of a classic.

      • Logic

        Fool.

        • M’Quve

          Bite me, fanboy!

          • Jason Mounce

            I won’t bite you….but I’ll send the new McDonalds’ Happy Meal Mascot after you…

        • DonDrapersAcidTrip

          Yeah look how great the prequels turned out obviously star wars can do no wrong as long as your 12 years old and have no comprehension of taste whatsoever

  • Promontorium

    So much negativity in the comments section. You’d think this was the internet… He’s saying this because of the initial moronic “NOOOOOO!!!!!” reaction from people about this being a Disney set of sequels. And this reaction continues among many who want no more Star Wars at all. He’s going above them and saying to the true die hard fans, he couldn’t possibly let them down. HE IS THAT DEDICATED. If this were Star Wars Christmas Special 2 he would do it out of loyalty. That is what he is saying. A single actor can only do so much to make a film. He will do what he can. But he is in it 100% for better or worse. So nobody can say he didn’t try.

    Now you’re going to complain about that? You don’t deserve his dedication.

    • Logic

      Fool.

      • Promontorium

        Well, the good news is you’re laconic. The bad news is you’re a moron.

  • Scott Mohr

    Oof… that pic of Mark holding a lightsaber next to Mickey Mouse made me die a little inside…

  • GameraKillsGodzilla

    Star Wars has been unbearably bad since “Jedi”. Honestly, the last good Star Wars movie came out when Jimmy Carter was president! I hope these new films are worthwhile, but I have major doubts.

  • Patrick Longworth

    I realize his comments are jarring to we fans but let’s face it – acting is a job as well as a passion. We bought into the mythology of Star Wars that he and his fellow actors put out to us but I’d be surprised if he had the same feelings as we do because we are observers of what he put on. I had acting/drama experience in high school so it’s never been a profession for me but when it comes to inhabiting a character, the audience no doubt experiences it differently from the actor who is acting the part/playing the role.

    I believe we can trust Mark to be professional enough to do his best at this role when the time comes. He’s not a kid caught up in his importance to his “audience” but a man who has likely had to struggle in a profession in which typecasting can be a career killer or sometimes a blessing.

  • topkatnc

    Too bad he had that car accident , his look was totally different .. he was quite a handsome guy before the accident .. but he was lucky that he lived .

  • footyscout

    Just because he is a big star and actor, doesn’t mean he has got to hang on every bit of news from the film! Professionals in all that perform either in the arts or sports have a job to do. It is their profession. They treat it as work. If you are a fan , then you have a different mind set to an actor. I met a high profile golf player once and started to talk to him about the sport etc…he politely asked me if we could talk about something else because he was bored of the same old conversations he had been involved for the last 10 years…it is his job. Nobody likes to talk shop/work all of their lives !!!
    I hope this clears up a few thoughts that fans have of actors and the film industry.

  • Brennon

    The new cast for this looks great, glad everyone from the old movies is alive and willing to come back.

    • Brennon

      except Billy Dee Williams, maybe he will come back in the next one.

  • Daniel Lind

    Mark Hamill was great in the Wingcommander games but I’m chuffed to see him back as a rugged, older, Luke Skywalker.