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Our minds are still reeling with all of the information absorbed from Star Wars Celebration over the weekend. The highlight continues to be the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel, where J.J. Abrams introduced the new cast, the old cast, and unveiled that second trailer (which we’re posting below). Then there was all of that Star Wars: Rogue One trivia. Are you hungry for even more Star Wars news? Mark Hamill has you covered.
On Saturday evening, Mark Hamill participated in an hour-long discussion of all things Star Wars from the stage of the convention center in Anaheim. And because many fans had just been able to see that The Force Awakens trailer, a lot of the conversation pertained to what was revealed (and what was hidden) in the latest footage. As Hamill spoke from the stage, there was a debate raging online about whether or not Luke Skywalker was even in the new clip. Well, he was, and it was one of the biggest things Hamill was able to confirm, so let’s start there.
That’s Hamill’s Voice Narrating The Start Of The New TrailerI’m not sure why this even had to be clarified, but there was a lot of debate online over the weekend about who was speaking over the initial shots in Abrams’ new The Force Awakens trailer (above). Yahoo Movies reports that Mark Hamill received permission to confirm this to the crowd at Star Wars Celebration, and even admitted that he kept screwing up over one line reading. Instead of saying "my father has it," as can be heard in the trailer, Hamill said he kept saying "my father had it," implying past tense. As a result, the sound bite is a mixture of the original line reading from Return of the Jedi, and a new bit that Hamill says he recorded for this trailer. But by switching the tense from "had" to "has," does that reveal something significant about Darth Vader, and his place in this new trilogy?
Mark Hamill Was Skeptical of J.J. AbramsI love that Hamill admitted to the Star Wars Celebration that he initially was "skeptical" that J.J. Abrams was taking over the Star Wars franchise, for this simple reason: Abrams is a Star Trek guy. Hamilly very quickly clarified that he likes Star Trek, but just that the blending of the universes was… unusual. It’d be like Pepsi hiring the former CEO of Coca-Cola to head up a new initiaitive. In the back of your mind, you’d be thinking: "Yeah, but is this guy going to sabotage us?" Quite the opposite, as Hamill learned. He said of Abrams, via Business Insider:
Here's the thing that I love. This film is the first of the Star Wars films that's actually in the hands of someone who grew out of fandom. So he [Abrams] feels the way you feel in terms of wanting practical effects, real sets."
And in a funny sort of way, it’s those same fans who are responsible for Hamill being in The Force Awakens in the first place. I’ll explain…
Fear of Fan Backlash Forced Hamill Into Doing This New MovieMark Hamill could hear the chants. They’d start outside of his home, and follow him wherever he went. This was the nightmare scenario, the vision he had if he had decided to tell George Lucas that he wouldn’t reprise his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The way he describes it, Lucas took Hamill to lunch and told him that he was selling the company, and letting Kathleen Kennedy kick off a new trilogy. But Lucas offered Hamill an out. He agreed to write Luke out of the new story if Hamill didn’t want to do it. But fear of the fandom convinced him to take part. Hamill jokes:
Later, I thought, 'It's not like a choice, it's like ... it was like I was drafted.' Can you imagine if for some reason I said, 'I don't think I want to do it'? I would have all of you surrounding my house like villagers in a Frankenstein picture. Angry villagers with lightsabers instead of torches. I'd sort of be like the most hated person in fandom."
Instead, Mark Hamill is part of a major Renaissance, a rebirth for the beloved universe that will begin in December and extend… well, as far as the eye can see.