Over the last 40 years, few movies have been as popular or as successful than the Star Wars franchise, and actor Mark Hamill has been cemented in cinematic culture for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker.
But when it came to reprising the role for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the subsequent films in the trilogy, Hamill was reluctant to return. Now he's revealing the reasons why he decided to pick up that old lightsaber once again.
"He’s too old and too rich and too cranky,” said Hamill. “He’s not going to do this.”
He was surprised when Ford agreed, realizing he had to be involved now too.
“Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.”
Hamill questioned whether he should have taken the new gig from the outside, recalling a meeting he had with George Lucas in 2012, after the creator told him that Disney was purchasing Lucasfilm to make a new trilogy. But after the original actors also sat out for the prequel trilogy, he didn't think they'd ever appear again.
"We figured we had the middle three," Hamill said. "It was over."
But when Lucas told Hamill and co-star Carrie Fisher about the new plans over lunch, he couldn't believe it.
"I was completely stunned. Carrie, not a minute went by — she slapped the table and goes, 'I'm in!' I said, 'Carrie, poker face!' … I was just really scared," he said. "I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote."
The Force Awakens was a rousing success, becoming the number one movie of 2015. And Hamill's appearance as Luke Skywalker, however brief, sent fans into a frenzy. After waiting for three decades to find out what happened to him, fans will get to learn the answer when Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.