It's finally official: The old Star Wars gang is back, just as Mark Hamill exclusively promised to ETonline in an interview way back in February of 2013. Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will reprise their original trilogy roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII opposite Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as fan favorites Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. Plot details of the J.J. Abrams-directed film remain under tight wraps, but perhaps we have a more concrete idea of what the film will be about based on what Hamill told us in our original interview.
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"It's all very, very exciting and so unexpected; I think that's the quality I like about it most – it's like getting a pair of pants out of the closet you haven't worn in three years and finding a $20 bill in the pocket," Hamill said about being asked to return to the Star Wars fold.
Asked what he knew of the storyline back then, he replied, "I probably learn more from Entertainment Tonight than I do directly from Lucasfilm," then shared his thoughts on what he'd like to see from Star Wars: Episode VII in terms of tone and storyline: "I said to George [Lucas] that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway. ... I hope they find the right balance of CGI with practical effects. I love props, I love models, miniatures, matte paintings -- I'm sort of old school. I think if you go too far in the direction of CGI it winds up looking like just a giant a video game, and that's unfortunate. ... If they listen to me at all, it'll be, 'Lighten up and go retro with the way it looks.'"
In terms of where we'll pick up with Luke Skywalker in Episode VII, he offered, "I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring -- like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character. … When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there's a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she's your sister – I thought, 'Well, I'm going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I'm going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.'"
And as for those confirmed stand-alone Star Wars films, which may follow the adventures of a young Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda, Hamill observed, "That's really smart. Then you're more like James Bond pictures, where they come out and it's not an investment of a three-movie arc. … It's so rich, that [Star Wars] universe, in terms of quirkiness and oddball [nature]. We would talk about that [on the original film's set]. We'd go like, 'That little band that's playing in the Cantina, what's their story?! I mean, are they a traveling band? Are they the house band? Who's their manager?' They didn't have names when we first were talking about them. Now they're called, like, Sy Snootles – they come up with names down the road when they have to name toys."
After a hearty laugh, Hamill added, "I hope we don't overstay our welcome."
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At the time of the interview, Hamill was promoting his gritty indie gangster flick Sushi Girl, out on DVD and Blu-ray now, and he said of his wisecracking, sadistic criminal who is a bit light in the loafers, "The kind of character roles I enjoy doing most I did on Broadway, whether I played the sleazy producer in Room Service or I played The Elephant Man or I played Mozart in [Amadeus] ... Those were all complex character roles. Character roles only indicate that they're very different from who you are as a person, and for me, it's fun hiding behind characters that are so unlike who I am."
Stay tuned to ETonline for more Star Wars and Mark Hamill news!