Actor who played Luke Skywalker in original series wants to reprise his role as Jedi knight in proposed new trilogy of films
Mark Hamill has confirmed he is set to have talks with the team behind the new Star Wars films about reprising his role as Luke Skywalker.
Speaking to the ET Online website, Hamill revealed he had not yet sat down with the new president of LucasFilm, Kathleen Kennedy, nor the proposed writer of Star Wars: Episode VII, Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt, but expected to do so when the pair were less busy. He did not mention whether he expected to meet the film's recently announced director, Star Trek's JJ Abrams, who was appointed by Kennedy last month following Disney's $4.05bn (£2.6bn) purchase of all rights to the long-running space opera saga in October last year.
"They're talking to us," said Hamill, who was one of the first stars of the original Star Wars trilogy to suggest he would be interested in a return. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out.
"I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed - on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."
Hamill's repeated use of the term "we" could be taken to imply that all three original Star Wars leads might be set for a return, as has been rumoured. Harrison Ford's involvement as Han Solo is "a done deal" according to a report earlier this week on the influential Latino Review blog, while Carrie Fisher has also said she would be minded to play Princess Leia once again. Hamill went so far as to say he would like to see other former cast members return.
"I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway," said Hamill. "And another thing I'd want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Are Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that's around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure everybody's on board here, rather than just one."
Hamill said he had no idea where the proposed new trilogy of films – a series of spin-off movies is also planned, potentially set within the timeline of the original triptych and featuring characters such as as Solo, Yoda and Boba Fett in their prime – might go story-wise. But he imagined himself as an older, more experienced Jedi master providing guidance to a younger generation this time around.
"I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring – like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character," he said. "When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there's a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she's your sister – I thought, 'Well, I'm going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I'm going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.'"
Meanwhile Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine in both the prequel and original Star Wars series, has become the latest actor to consider a return under the new Disney regime. While admitting it might be tough to come back from his ignominious end at the finale of 1983's Return of the Jedi, he told the Birmingham Mail: "Anything can happen in Star Wars."