Why Mark Hamill Nearly Turned Down ‘Star Wars’ Return

The return of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher was integral to the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After the prequel trilogy had been met with so much disdain, the reunion of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa was seen as a sign that the next trilogy would bring back the magic of the original films.

Mark Hamill has now revealed, though, that he was actually very close to turning down J.J. Abrams’ request to return as Luke Skywalker. But rather than insisting that it was for creative reasons, Mark Hamill instead candidly admitted that he originally wanted to turn down Star Wars: The Force Awakens because he was “frightened” by it. Mark Hamill made this admission to Vulture, via Blastr, while also revealing that he thought Harrison Ford would do the hard part for him by turning it down for the three of them.

“I was really frightened about it. I knew I couldn’t resist the challenge, but I said, ‘Well, here’s the thing: If it’s not in solidarity with Harrison and Carrie – or Carrison, as I call them – then there’s an escape route. Because if Harrison doesn’t do it, that’s my escape route.’ And I thought, ‘He’ll never do it. He’s too rich and too cranky.'”

Unfortunately for Mark Hamill, but ecstatically for Star Wars fans, Harrison Ford soon admitted to the press that he was going to do it.

Mark Hamill reveals he wanted to turn down The Force Awakens
[Image by Lucasfilm]

This immediately convinced Hamill that he had to sign on the dotted line, too, because he knew that if he didn’t, the Star Wars fans would never forgive him.

“Once he said in the press that he was doing it I thought ‘Well, I just got drafted. Because if I say no to this, these people are gonna be outside my house like the angry villagers in Frankenstein with lightsabers instead of torches. I’ll be the most hated man in fandom.”

Mark Hamill’s fears were relatively quashed, though, when he finally read the script for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and learned that he was actually only in the final scene of the film. And even then he didn’t have any dialogue to learn.

“It was the best of both worlds. I could enjoy it all without having the responsibility on my shoulders.”

However, things have taken quite a drastic turn since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now Mark Hamill finds himself standing alone as both Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher won’t be around to promote Star Wars: The Last Jedi with him. That’s because Ford’s iconic character was killed off in The Force Awakens, while Carrie Fisher sadly passed away at the age of 60 just last month.

[Image by Lucasfilm]

Just last week, Mark Hamill admitted to Yahoo Movies that the devastating news of Carrie Fisher’s death has instantly brought “an air of melancholy” to The Last Jedi, while he confessed that he “selfishly” wanted her around to promote it because she was just “so much fun.”

“Well, you know, I don’t know. It’s sort of cast a pall on — I mean, I thought, Episode VIII will have an air of melancholy about it that it doesn’t need or deserve. And I thought, selfishly, I just wanted her around because she was so much fun to be with.”

During this interview, Mark Hamill also opened up about the nerves that both he and Carrie Fisher had about their returns to the franchise. But Fisher explained to Hamill that his fears were nothing compared to hers, and Hamill insisted that he was overjoyed to see her make such a tremendous and triumphant return in The Force Awakens.

“And we both had trepidations about coming back — like, ‘Is this the right thing to do? I mean, it should be about the young generation.’ We had our fears. But she was really candid about the fact that, you think it’s hard for men to age in this business, it’s 10 times worse for women. Where they feel like they’re not useful after 50, which is crazy! I don’t know. It was wonderful to see her be able to reemerge the way she did.”

[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]