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There’s a distinct possibility that legions of fans around the world are just a tad bit excited for the impending release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - juuust a bit. However, comments from returning Star Wars alumnus and former franchise star, Mark Hamill, seem to imply that those fans just might want to slow their roll when it comes to speculation about his character and the other older generation franchise stars. To read into Hamill’s latest words, it seems that the returning players like Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo might not be playing the vital central roles in the film that fans have long been picturing in their minds.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Mark Hamill largely discussed his role in the upcoming comic-book adaptation spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service, however, as interviews with Mark Hamill always tend to do, the topic wound up shifting to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away - specifically, Hamill’s reprisal of his career-defining role as Luke Skywalker. According to Hamill, though, neither Luke, nor any of his classic Original Trilogy peers are central to The Force Awakens and, in fact, he would have been okay if he didn't end up coming back at all. That being said, he does recognize the value that his own presence adds to the storyline as far as its continuity. The actor explained,
I would have been completely okay with it not including us, but I do think having the original cast members there gives it a sense of continuity and scope. But mind you, it’s really about the new generation, it’s not about us.
This seems to be an important bit of advice to fans expecting to walk in to the theater for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and see a direct follow-up to Return of the Jedi. As it stands, the central figures in the film seem to be Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron - though we say that mostly because they were the one's put front and center in the movie's first trailer. Mark Hamill’s words are a swift slap in the face to starry-eyed purists, reminding them that the seventh chapter in the Star Wars saga will unequivocally be his younger co-stars' story.
Nevertheless, the anticipation will continue to surge for The Force Awakens because, you know… Star Wars. However, this news does bring up the question of whether the film will be the kind of "I NEED to at least see one of these movies before I die to be eternally content" level of anticipation that many fans (myself, included) felt back in 1999 walking into Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Or, could it be slightly more muted, thanks to post-prequel ennui, the barrage of animated shows and features we’ve gotten since? Hamill himself seems to suggest that us fans need to take things down a notch and live our lives normally with chores like eating, bathing, and other general hygienic, non-Star Wars-related activities that usually tend to take time away from actual Star Wars-related activities... at least, until December rolls around. Said the actor,
Believe me, it will be here before you know it. Forget about it - that’s my advice. Look forward to all the summer movies. I’m telling you, it’s just a movie. These people that build it up in their minds like it’s going to be the second coming of, I don’t know what — they’re bound to be disappointed.
Is this Mark Hamill’s way of exercising preemptive measures to control Prequel Trilogy-like outrage? Or, is he simply just trying to mentally acclimate the fans into accepting that his upcoming rendition of an aged wizard-rocking Luke will not serve as the end-all, be-all of the Star Wars canon when the new Trilogy kicks off?
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens looks to pass the torch to a new generation of heroes with the ease of bulls-eyeing womp rats with a T-16 Skyhopper when it hits theaters on December 18th.