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Mark Hamill only agreed to more Star Wars after Harrison Ford signed on

Mark Hamill Star Wars Harrison Ford

Once Disney acquired Lucasfilm for a cool $4 billion and announced their plans to develop a new STAR WARS trilogy taking place thirty years after RETURN OF THE JEDI, there was the question of just which Original Trilogy characters would reprise their roles. Personally, although I knew that Han Solo would be a big draw, I just didn't see Harrison Ford wanting to return, particularly as he didn't seem to be overly passionate about the franchise. Another person who found it hard to believe that Harrison Ford would return was Mark Hamill himself.

While speaking with the New York Times, the STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI actor commented on the early days when George Lucas first told Carrie Fisher and himself that a new STAR WARS trilogy was in the works. Lucas said that their characters would be included in these new films, provided they wanted to play them. "I was completely stunned," Hamill said. "Carrie, not a minute went by — she slapped the table and goes, 'I’m in!' I said, 'Carrie, poker face!'" Hamill feared that modern audiences wouldn't accept the STAR WARS gang so many years later, "No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star," he said. "It’s sad."

However, Mark Hamill had an ace in the hole, or so he thought. Believing that Harrison Ford would turn down the chance to reprise his old STAR WARS role, Mark Hamill felt that he had a good defense if he chose to say no to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, but, against all odds, Harrison Ford signed on

“He’s too old and too rich and too cranky,” Mr. Hamill said. “He’s not going to do this.” But when Mr. Ford said yes, Mr. Hamill realized he had to agree, too: “Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.”

After Mark Hamill agreed to return as Luke Skywalker in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, he soon discovered that his role would be a little smaller than he had thought. J.J. Abrams had to break the news to Mark Hamill, saying "I let him know before he read the script that his role was minimal. I don’t think he knew just how minimal until he read it." Although Abrams says that Hamill was "not particularly happy with how little he was in it" at the time, the actor grew to appreciate his brief appearance. "When they talk about you that much in a movie before you even show up, that’s fabulous," Hamill said. So, thanks in part to Harrison Ford, we'll have much more of Luke Skywalker to look forward to in Rian Johnson's upcoming sequel.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI will hit theaters on December 15, 2017.

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