Mark Hamill almost snubbed the chance to return to ‘Star Wars’.
The 66-year-old actor played Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy alongside Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher as fellow heroes Han Solo and Princess Leia.
All three were asked to appear in the sequel and start of a new trilogy ‘The Force Awakens’, but Hamill was initially reluctant to return to the sci-fi franchise but decided to say yes to Disney and Lucasfilm’s offer once Ford, 75, signed up.
Speaking to The New York Times, Hamill said: ”I was just really scared. I thought, ‘Why mess with it?’ The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote.
”But can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom!”
Although the three beloved original cast members returned for the 2015 hit – helmed by J.J. Abrams – Hamill’s part was minimal with him only appearing at the end of the movie without any dialogue, despite his character playing a major role in the plot.
In the upcoming ‘Episode VIII’, ‘The Last Jedi’, Hamill will have a major role throughout the movie – which marks the last outing for Fisher as General Leia Organa after she sadly died last year.
Hamill recently promised fans will ”love” her performance, but did admit that bosses have had to change their plans for the character due to Fisher’s shock death.
Speaking at New York Comic Con, he said: ”You’re going to really love her in [‘the Last Jedi’].
”I know they’re going to try and find a way to close her story in ‘Episode IV’ that gives her the respect she deserves, because [Han Solo] was more prominent in [‘The Force Awakens’], Luke’s a little more prominent in ‘Episode VIII, and certainly Leia was meant to be more prominent in ‘Episode IV’.
”Worldwide, everyone feels that gap she left. But we all have to hang in there. And if she’s out there somewhere, we have to give her the one-finger salute. Come on everybody, for Carrie.”
Hamill and Fisher are joining a number of returning cast members including Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Andy Serkis (Snoke) and Domhnall Gleeson (General Lux).
‘The Last Jedi’ hits cinemas this December.