Mark Hamill was told of plans to film episodes VII, VIII, and IX back in August, the star has claimed.
The Luke Skywalker actor told EW that both he and Carrie Fisher were asked to lunch by George Lucas.
He said: “I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the ‘Star Wars’ TV series that I’ve heard about – which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor – or the 3-D releases.”
“So when he said, ‘We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX’, I was just gobsmacked. ‘What? Are you nuts?!’ ” he laughed.
When news of the Disney purchase was announced, however, Hamill said he was as surprised as fans and confirmed on Twitter that he knew nothing, if any, of his involvement.
“Congratulations to George for today’s mega-deal! Can’t comment on Ep 7 before I have all the facts which are short supply right now-Patience,” he tweeted.
While he knows as much as fans, the actor said he remained optimistic for the future of the franchise.
“I can see both sides of it,” he continued. “Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be – and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories.
“But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about.”
In 1979, before the release of Empire, Lucas talked about the idea of three trilogies: “The entire saga spans about 55 years,” allowing about 20 years between each trilogy, “Originally when I wrote Star Wars I had material for six movies. After the success of Star Wars I added another trilogy.”
Then, in 1980, when Empire was in cinemas, he told Time Magazine that Episodes 7-9 would involve: “the rebuilding of the Republic” and “the necessity for moral choices and the wisdom needed to distinguish right from wrong.” Thematically this seems to be the central struggle of the sequel trilogy: “The third [trilogy] will deal with moral and philosophical problems. In Star Wars there is a very clear line drawn between good and evil. Eventually you have to face the fact that good and evil aren’t that clear cut, and the real issue is trying to understand the difference. The sequel is about Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation and passing on what you have learned.”
Mark Hamill has also revealed that in 1976, before the world even knew what Star Wars was, Lucas told him the grand plan: “You’ll just be like a cameo. You’ll be like Obi-Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope.” According to SFX, this was further hinted at when Lucas told Time Magazine ‘Luke would now be a sixtysomething mentor figure like Kenobi – and yes, there would be a place for fellow stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. “Hamill and the others will get first crack at the roles – if they look old enough.”’
Would Han and Leia be together? “They might be married, or not,” said Lucas. “We have never actually discussed marriage in this galaxy. I don’t even know if it exists yet. Who knows what relationship they will have? I mean, they’re together, let’s put it this way.”
And finally, before the release of The Phantom Menace, Lucas was quoted as saying: “The only notion on that [trilogy] was wouldn’t it be fun to get all the actors to come back when they’re 60 or 70 years old and make three more about them as old people?”
So to say this is all new is highly inaccurate… oh, man. Here we go again!