If you played one of the most iconic movie characters of all time, you’d likely have reservations around returning to the role 30-some years later. What if it sucked? What if the fans hated it and you looked like an old fool? Those were some of Mark Hamill’s fears upon being asked to return for the new Star Wars trilogy.

“I was just really scared,” Hamill said of a 2012 meeting where George Lucas told him and Carrie Fisher about plans for the new films. “I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote,” the actor told The New York Times in a new profile. Hamill didn’t think the fans would care to see actors in their 60s and 70s running around with light sabers, so he initially planned to turn down his cameo in The Force Awakens.

While the late Fisher didn’t hesitate to say yes to reprising her Leia – “Carrie, not a minute went by — she slapped the table and goes, ‘I’m in!’” he recalls – Hamill was certain Harrison Ford would reject the offer – “He’s too old and too rich and too cranky.” If Ford turned it down, Hamill thought he could too. But, alas, Ford signed on to bring back Han Solo and Hamill was forced to opt in. “Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no?” Hamill told the Times. “I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.” True.

It’s no news that once Hamill signed on for the new trilogy, he had some strong opinions and hearty disagreements over Luke’s minimal involvement in The Force Awakens and the direction of his storyline thereafter. Earlier this year Hamill told Vanity Fair he “fundamentally disagree[ed] with every choice” The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson made about Luke, and shared his own pitch for how he envisioned his Jedi would return for the new trio of movies. But finally, Luke will have his moment in Johnson’s Episode VIII this year, and you can thank the late Fisher’s eagerness and Ford’s willingness to return for it.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15.

Gallery – Check Out 28 Hi-Res Star Wars: The Last Jedi Photos:


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