Star Wars: Mark Hamill “Can’t Imagine” Ever Returning as Luke Skywalker

Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker across six episodes of the nine-movie [...]

Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker across six episodes of the nine-movie saga, says he "can't imagine" returning to a galaxy far, far away after a "bittersweet" sendoff in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Now 68, Hamill first starred as desert planet farm boy Luke in the George Lucas-directed 1977 original Star Wars before returning alongside co-stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's first saga finale Return of the Jedi. Decades later, Hamill silently reprised the role in J.J. Abrams' 2015 franchise relaunch The Force Awakens before returning again in the Rian Johnson-directed The Last Jedi in 2017 and Abrams' Rise of Skywalker, billed as the finale to the "Skywalker Saga," in 2019.

"Oh, I can't imagine that, no," Hamill told Entertainment Weekly when asked about returning to the Star Wars galaxy. "I had a beginning, middle, and end. Those films gave me far more than I ever expected when we started out so it's never even occurred to me."

Hamill's confirmation comes one day after the actor tweeted a goodbye to his Jedi Master, who perished in The Last Jedi before returning as a Force ghost in Skywalker. There Luke provided Rey (Daisy Ridley) with sage advice ahead of her battle with the returned Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

"My farewell was in Episode IX and it was bittersweet," Hamill said. "I love all those people and I certainly have affection for George and the character he created. I'm full of gratitude for what it has given me and my career but I don't want to be greedy. There are still so many more stories to tell and so many great actors to tell them, they don't need me."

One of those stories is unfolding in the Jon Favreau-created The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars television series released on Disney+.

"I think they have a wonderful advantage on The Mandalorian in that it's economical storytelling. They don't have the burden of delivering a gigantic special effects extravaganza like the films had to do," he explained. "It sort of gets back to the basics of George envisioning it as a western in space. It has that tone of a Sergio Leone Western. I'm very impressed with it and to me, a very smart move on their part because you can't keep trying to top... It's like the superhero movies that have to deliver these gargantuan epics. And with The Mandalorian, they can concentrate more on the characters and the storytelling. I think it's excellent."

Hamill earlier admitted there was a "sense of closure" with Luke following his transition into the Force in The Last Jedi. Following the death of Ford's Han Solo in The Force Awakens in December 2015, and the death of close friend Fisher in December 2016, Hamill felt it was time to "move on."

"You have to start disconnecting from it emotionally. The main thing [that shocked me in The Force Awakens] was – Han Solo is killed! I'll never get to work with Harrison again. Luke will never see Han again. That's what struck me, that was the first break, we lost a member of the band," Hamill said in a 2018 interview. "And then what happened with Luke [in The Last Jedi], I said 'Okay, that's the next link' when I was still thinking I'll come back as a Force ghost. And then to lose Carrie in real life, I said 'That's it.' They say you can never go home again, and that for me was the real indication that it's time to move on."

All episodes of the Star Wars saga are now streaming on Disney+.