The reveal of Luke Skywalker in the final moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens remains one the most iconic cinematic moments of the last few years. However, it turns out that Mark Hamill almost didn't return to play the legendary Jedi at all because he was concerned about the new films not living up to the original trilogy. In fact, Hamill recently addressed his hesitation toward returning ahead of the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and said:
I was just really scared. I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote. ... No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star. It's sad.
The Star Wars franchise arguably lost quite a bit of its goodwill with longtime fans after the release of the polarizing prequel trilogy, so bringing back the heroes introduced in A New Hope could've been met with cynicism. That's why Mark Hamill was so hesitant to return; he had no idea if this new adventure could work almost forty years after their first run (and he initially assumed that the others felt the same way). Of course, in the end, the return of the original trilogy heroes was handled well by The Force Awakens, but it could've easily been another Terminator: Genisys or an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull situation.
Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I'd be the most hated man in nerd-dom.
With the release of The Last Jedi coming in December, we will soon see the full force of Mark Hamill's (possibly dark) return to the Star Wars galaxy. As Hamill also recently noted about the arc of the new Star Wars trilogy: The Last Jedi is meant to be the film that specifically highlights Luke, while The Force Awakens was Han's moment and Episode IX was (before Carrie Fisher's death) intended to be Leia's moment. Luke didn't get to say much during his most recent appearance on the big screen, but it's clear that he is about to return to the forefront of the Star Wars franchise with the next installment.
Mark Hamill will make his next silver screen appearance as Luke Skywalker when Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi premieres later this year on December 15. Tickets to the upcoming Star Wars film are now available for pre-order, so make sure to get yours now and keep your moviegoing calendars filled out with our 2017 movie premiere guide and our 2018 movie premiere guide.