On Tuesday, Disney shocked the world when the company announced it had bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and, more importantly, has intentions of reviving the Star Wars franchise with Episode 7 and well beyond. While we know the general public was caught off guard, how did those involved with the original trilogy react? Mark Hamill, the poster boy of Star Wars who played Luke Skywalker, was just as surprised as everyone else.
Speaking to EW, Hamill admitted he knew that Lucas wanted to do Eposides 7, 8, and 9, although he "had no idea that George [Lucas] was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else."
"He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] 7, 8, and 9, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them," he explained. "He seems to be in a really good place. He's really happy. And that's nice because I know that when we were making the movies, he was not a jolly guy on set. [Laughs]"
As for what Lucas discussed last summer, Hamill went on to reveal that, "Last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. 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. So when he said, 'We decided we're going to do Episodes 7, 8, and 9,' I was just gobsmacked. 'What? Are you nuts?!' [Laughs]"
Hamill continued, "I can see both sides of it. 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. We'll see."
Hamill admitted he has "mixed feelings" about Disney acquiring Lucasfilm, but ultimately realizes that Disney hasn't "done badly by Marvel and the Muppets and Pixar."
"It's one of those big decisions that at first seems unusual, but then the more you look at it, the more it makes sense."
As for what Episode 7 will be about, that still remains a mystery. However, yesterday a Lucasfilm source said the plot of Episode 7 will be "an original story", meaning it won't revolve around already-existing material like the Thrawn Trilogy. Dale Pollack, author of the unauthorized biography Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, revealed to TheWrap that he was able to read the outlines of the future films, but also signed a confidentiality agreement. He did reveal that an older version of Luke Skywalker does appear in the final trilogy. Will Mark Hamill reprise his role? Better yet, would you want to see him in another Star Wars film?