Mark Hamill Talks Star Wars Episodes 7-9; George Lucas to Donate $4 Billion

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mark hamill new star wars trilogy Mark Hamill Talks Star Wars Episodes 7 9; George Lucas to Donate $4 Billion

The ‘Net is still reeling from this week’s unanticipated announcement that Disney is acquiring Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas for the sweet sum of $4 billion. Explicit details about a new trilogy (which Lucas will serve as a ‘creative consultant’ on, but neither write nor direct) are being kept firmly under-wraps right now, so a healthy chunk of the general discussion right now is centered around weighing the pros and cons of the Mouse House gaining control over Lucas’ sci-fi cash cow.

Luke Skywalker himself (a.k.a. Mark Hamill) has opened up about what little he does know for certain, with respect to the future of the property. Meanwhile, Lucas has announced his intention to donate his aforementioned $4 billion payment to charities that focus on improving education.

Hamill has informed EW that he knew in advance about plans to make Star Wars: Episodes VII-IX (with the newly-appointed Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy serving as executive producer), but is otherwise completely in the dark when it comes to what’s going on behind-the-scenes of this series:

“Oh my gosh, what a shock that was! I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else. He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] VII, VIII, and IX, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them… Yeah, last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about… So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs]“

The live-action show Hamill referenced is set during the years between the prequel and ‘original’ Star Wars trilogies; however, its future remains up in the air for the time being, despite reportedly having some 50 hours of script work finished and ready for production. Similarly, although Lucas previously authored treatments for a 12-part film saga, there are reports that Disney is instead opting for brand-new story material as the basis for a third trilogy (and beyond).

“I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It’s one of those things: people either just don’t care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about…”

Hamill, for his part, doesn’t seem to anticipate that he’ll be involved with the new installments in any significant capacity – and, like everyone else, has somewhat mixed feelings about Disney’s acquisition of the SW property. On the one hand, the studio has achieved commercial and artistic success in taking a hands-off approach to Pixar and Marvel’s creative process, while supporting unconventional visions from storytellers such as Gore Verbinski (the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Lone Ranger) and James Bobin (The Muppets).

On the other hand, the Mouse House is considered the epitome of the modern-day profit margin-driven studio system; ultimately, whoever writes and directs the new Star Wars trilogy has to bide by its mandate (with respect to what the ‘appropriate approach’ is). It’s kind of a metaphorical two-headed monster, in that regard.

george lucas lucasfilm disney Mark Hamill Talks Star Wars Episodes 7 9; George Lucas to Donate $4 Billion

George Lucas (happily?) passing over the ‘Star Wars’ rights

Changing topics now: since Lucas has complete ownership of Lucasfilm, the $4.05 billion deal with Disney (which should be finalized by the year’s end), he also has final say on where the money goes. THR is reporting that the bulk of the proceeds will go to Lucas’ philanthropic efforts – be it in order to create a new foundation for the improvement of the U.S. education system or towards one of the organizations he has donated to in recent years. Those include the Film Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, Make-A-Wish, and Edutopia (which he is the chairman for).

Here is an official statement from Lucas, on the matter:

“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company [Lucasfilm]. As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy.”

More on the future of the Star Wars franchise as the story develops.

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Source: EW, THR

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  1. Ok so completely unpopular opinion here.

    I think it’s fine that Lucas sold to Disney. But having grown up with Star Wars (I was born in 75′ the year ILM was formed), I enjoyed the prequels a great deal. There was great action, and I wanted so badly to see this story unfold that had been hinted at and talked around. I thought Lucas did a great job with everything except the love story between Padme and Anakin which left Episode II flat and somewhat unbelievable, and of course we all hate Jar Jar. But I still hate Ewoks and Harrison Ford’s obvious distaste for being in the film, just as much from Return. I would take Episode I and III over ROTJ every day of the week. I am so tired of hearing how Lucas destroyed this that or the other. He wrote good stories and produced films with descent acting, amazing special effects, and lots of action. I am glad he gets a chance to do something else he is passionate about, but I hope he plays a major part in any and everything Star Wars for many years to come.

    Oh and for the haters. The kid who played Anakin in Ep I was better at it than Hayden Christenson. He had more chemistry with Amidala as a little kid in 1 movie that HC did in 2.

    • i want to see and elderly Luke get confused in his age and become the next new Sith lord.

      • k that just blew my mind! “you don’t know the power of the dark side” the Irony would be so thick you could cut it with a light saber

    • I don’t think your opinion is unpopular. I think people who hate stuff post more prolifically than people who love, like or are even fine with the same issues. The vocal majority will always be largely haters.

      • I second that remark sir.(meaning I agree with you totally.)

    • The prequels were a piece of s***. Hayden’s acting was terrible. They should redo the prequels

  2. Good on George for donating so much to philathropic ventures.

  3. George give me $25 million and I’m set man…

  4. I think that if he wasn’t busy with the Marvel Cinematic Universe for like the next 3-4 years, Joss Whedon would be a good choice for directing a new Star Wars. But that’s just my opinion

    • Joss would be the perfect choice for it. His knack for snappy dialogue is tailor made for Star Wars. But yeah, it seems like he’s going to be pretty busy with Marvel.

    • Honestly I think that 2015 is too soon. I think Joss would be a good choice. If they just waited a year or two… it would probably be better for the franchise. plenty more time to prepare. I mean movies of the same caliber are coming out the same year an they are already more ready than Episode VII

    • Actually, as much as love Josh, I don’t think Star Wars plays to his strengths. At least not strengths that he’s had a chance to show us yet. Whedon’s work is all about the team dynamic and dialogue, while Star Wars is more about the grand scale epic adventure. You have those elements of comedy and snappy banter, to be sure, but they’re not as dominating as Whedon usually applies them. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work or that he couldn’t do it. I’m just saying, without the benefit of hindsight, it seems very different from anything he’s ever worked on and could result in a very different product than what you’re expecting.

      I’d much rather see someone like Brad Bird on the project. He’s a detail, story-conscious director, who seems to take a great deal of time going over the story to make sure every little scene works and is paced right. The attention to detail is astounding in his films, and Star Wars deserves, and benefits from, that kind of retentiveness.

    • No not Joss Whedon,the dialog he writes is just a little too ‘snarky’ for Star Wars IMO.

  5. How can he donate the whoe 4 billions only half is cash the rest is stock in Disney.

    • Because he’s not donating the whole thing, as the article points out. “The bulk of the proceeds”, which likely means continual donations from any revenue that he continues to make from the deal.

  6. i Think star killer should be the hero in the films

    • Star killer was alive during the clone wars. Episodes 7-9 will be during the New Republic Era. My source is:

      starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_galactic_history

      • Then what you’re asking for is for the movie to NOT be Episode 7. Because it would make very little sense for the next movie in a series of chapters to take place 5000 years in the past and not involve Skywalkers. You’re asking for a standalone film or spin-off.

    • Bad idea games and movies/shows should be seperate…
      Sonic X is just one example but that one is all I need to let you know that it would be a bad idea.

      • That really doesn’t make any sense, when talking about a game based on a movie. If they stayed separate, there wouldn’t be any Star Wars games to begin with. It’s only a bad idea because Galen Marek would be long dead by the time of these movies.

  7. yeah i think star killer could be the hero or introduce a new group of jedi knights

    • star killer was in the old republic and this is the new age star killer is already dead it wouldnt work.

  8. they most likey will go by the books i have over have the collection of books and i pretty much know what will happen i love star wars, but more than likey they will screw it up cause if george lacus is not doing the movie than i have little hope but i’m looking forward to seeing 7 8 9

  9. amei quando soube que vai ter mais duas trilogias,e espero que seja com os mesmos atores da sexologia,aí vai uma dica,o Anakin Solo-Jake Lloyd;Kyle Katarn-Ewan McGregor;Mestre Jedi Zaifo Vias-Samuel L.Jackson;Corran Horn-Liam Neesom;Darth Shindor-Ian McDiarmid;Kyp Durron-Jimmy Smits,o senador bail organa do episódio 1;Garm Bel Ibis-Sean Conery pelo que vir no desnho tem as mesmas caracteristicas e os outros vcs já sabem.

  10. We’ve had enough fiasco with bill gates and his education foundation grants in Florida. Use the funds to cure cancer.

  11. I’m happy there is a new Star Wars film, I’m confident Mark and Carrie will be in it. I just hope the Bobba, Bossk and Denger will be in it. We all know Bobba survived, we all know Bossk was underplayed in the TV show and we all Denger is awsome.

  12. I would like Disney to re-release all 6 films. Strip the terrible added effects to the original trilogy like the singing alien in jabbas palace in return of the jedi… Remove Jar Jar binks from as much screen time from the prequels as possible. Bring in the guy who played Darth Maul, Qui Gon, and Obi Wan, and have them re-shoot the light saber fight and make it more intense. It looks like a dance the way it is now.

    • I don’t want to argue with you, but I loved the added effects in the original trilogy. I think they made it 100 times better. I also think Obi-Wam’s duel with Darth Maul was fine the way it is. I think it was intense, and I don’t know what you mean by a … dance. I think Jar Jar Binks was a lovable and endearing character, like Dobby from the Harry Potter books. He has a few annoying qualities, but their not that bad. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. It’s Ahsoka Tano that I find annoying — but only when I hear her overly enthusiastic voice. I’m fine with Ahsoka in the Expanded Universe books. What I must stress here, is that I love the Special Edition Star Wars trilogy and I think criticism of Jar Jar is unfair.

      • But it’s the internet. We’re supposed to hate everything, right? Really, what happens here is people become so fervent in their hatred for something, they intimidate people into not expressing their opinion for the opposite. Like Jar Jar. This is supposed to be a joke we all agree with, and damn anyone for thinking anything else. Even though a lot of us do actually think something else. I found Jar Jar funny, too. And even if I hadn’t, he would have hardly ruined my life, like he has some folks.

  13. Ti reiterate what others have said, it would be entirely possible for Starkiller to be the hero of the new trilogy. Even, probably the easiest and most logical route. In The Force Unleashed II, Star Killer is a clone, and he LIVES through the end of that game. Starkiller and Juno are both alive and well at the end of the canon ending of the game. (Light side is canon)

    This would also explain the ‘other’ that Yoda referred to when speaking to Luke. Starkiller met Yoda before Luke did. Since Lucas basically said “Yeah I never really planned that out” when asked about who the ‘other’ was. But definitely stated it was NOT Leia. Starkiller is also modeled after an ACTUAL person. Starkiller’s VA is also who he’s modeled after, so they would save the trouble of even casting the role. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1022429/

    Disney has already stated the movies won’t be based on the Thrawn books, that they’d be new stories. Lucas never liked the books anyway, he said they weren’t at all what he would have done with the story. Harrison Ford agreed to return on the condition that Han die (Ford always hated Han as a character) and Mark Hamill is more than excited to return.

    • That isn’t true. Harrison Ford did not hate the character. He thought it would have added more to Han’s character if he were to sacrifice himself for his friends. All in all, he only thought Indiana Jones was a better character. And as long as they have the movies take place after the Fate of the Jedi series — far enough so that it won’t contradict the books — I wouldn’t mind if they killed off one of the main three — Luke, Han, or Leia.

  14. star wars 7 is going to be a good movie

  15. It would be great to see Revan from Star Wars: Knights of the old republic.. His story was a great one and he was powerful in the force and if you played those games you know the force can keep someone alive for a LOOOOONG time and I know i’ts different company’s and everything from the movie BUT it would be awesome to see a powerful sith in the film.. Someone cooler than Darth Vader and sidious.. In my opinion its the story what makes a film/game plus the action and lightsaber battles but without a good plot its pointless

    • If Revan were to be in these movies, he’d been a Jedi, not a Sith. He returned to the light side, in the end, and turned on Darth Malak. As far as I know, he was kept alive by the ancient Sith Emperor. I may be able to find a way where he would still be alive. But the Force cannot keep a Human alive THAT long.

      • Perhaps the original emporer returns? That would explain Revan and open the door for Old Republic spinoffs. Also Revan was beyond light/dark force, would really open up the storyline.

  16. Ok, I’m a MASSIVE Star Wars fan. I have read every book written, along with every graphic novel. If Disney jacks this up, the only time I will see it is once in theaters. Episodes I-III I saw maybe 5-7 times apiece just while in theaters, and countless times on blu-ray and DVD. If Disney messes with the mythology of Star Wars, I will know it and will not watch/buy/pay any attention to Episodes VIII and IX, nor will I buy Episode VII. Please, Disney, don’t contradict anything that’s been put in place before this movie. If you are using a certain time period in Star Wars, be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that NOTHING clashes, because we true fans will know, and you will regret it.

    • That is exactly how I feel. And speaking to another person who reads the books, I would like to see Thrackan Sal-Solo (played by Harrison Ford) as the villain in a post-Fate of the Jedi era. I would like to see Thrawn and Pellaeon, but I can’t see how if they keep Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

  17. In this timeline, the new sith lord will be han solo and leia’s son,luke will be married and have kids and they will be killed by the new sith lord

  18. I’m of the opinion that this should really be based on the old republic, I so treasured those games. Make it over 5000 years before the events of episode one.

    There were so many interesting characters like sion, revan, nilus ect. Seeing some of those battles brought to life would be amazing. I vote base it around the Sith vs Jedi war.

    • No offense, but I found the Old Republic to be one of the more boring eras. Though I hate video games, so my opinion is based from the books. I think it should be the Legacy era, after Darth Caedus’s fall. I think they should show the main trio’s end, bridged into Darth Krayt’s reign.

      • What I don’t understand is why you guys think it’s a good idea to tell stories that have already been told. This isn’t something like Lord of the Rings, where the books are being adapted. The books are extensions of the movie, and those stories are done with. Those stories weren’t written for movies, so a LOT of canonicity would be altered, or even ruined by a movie adaptation. Adapting a novel that’s already a continuing cannon of a movie would just be cannibalization, and would do more damage to the established continuity than what they, most likely, ARE going to do. Tell an original story that takes place after all the EU stuff.

        • People want to see events they have had pictured in their heads. Thst’s what truly annoys me about movies like “The Lightning Thief” — books are turned into movies to see the books acted out, not for some completely different film. Back onto “Star Wars” — I just really don’t want to see the Expanded Universe contradicted by these movies. What I hate the most is that I have this strong feeling that they will contradict the EU, but my curiosity is piqued and I can’t help but want to see it. I have the same problem with “The Sea of Monsters,” which I hope Mark Hamill comes in as Tantalus. Moreover, I am more of a reader tham a viewer. I prefer to see movies based on books. Books are far superior to movies, and anyone who says different, who doesn’t have a learning disability, is a dumbass.

  19. Here’s a fact that no one should deny. If Lucas makes another Star Wars Movie he should take us back to the original movies without CGI. And make a movie more geared to the original Star Wars films with real actors. At that point Lucas would regain a true StarWars lover and set the bar so high that Steven Spielberg couldn’t touch him.

    • That’s stupid. Computer generation makes the movies more realistic. I’ve watched films without CGI, and they’ve been terrible and unrealistic. “Harry Potter” used CGI, and it’s far superior to “Star Wars.” I don’t understand why people don’t like CGI.

  20. I’ll be fine with any plot these new movies take up, as long as they don’t contradict the books in any way. If they do, I’m going to be furious. But in order to not contradict the books, not base it off the books, and still have a good plot, they’d have to do the story well past the Legacy era. Only a few villains could work: Natasi Daala, Thrackan Sal-Solo, Darth Krayt, et cetera.

    But I don’t overly worry about these films; I haven’t been that into “Star Wars” in a long time. I care more about “Harry Potter” and “Percy Jackson.” Despite the fact that I am still devoted to reading every “Star Wars” book in existence. I’ve almost reached the end of the New Republic era with the Corellian Trilogy.

    Back on the films, however — Is anyone else hioping that Timothy Zahn plays some role in these movies? I’ve heard he was interviewed.

    I, also, hope that these new “Star Wars” films haven’t distracted anyone from “Indiana Jones V.” I’ve been looking forward to that for a while now.

  21. Going out on a limb here, but IMO Mark Hamill stands on deck to make the most remarkable, remarked-on, and memorable character reprise in film history. I dare anyone to name another actor playing the same character after almost 40 years, who hundreds of millions of people can’t wait to see.

  22. You people you talk about the books as if they are actually part of the cinematic world, but that isn’t true. The books are stories that explain things in the movies that weren’t overly important like thought to be extinction of the sith or what happened between the prequel series and the original trilogy. There are usually three realms to any nerd or geek subject. (I am a media nerd.) those three realms would be video game, book/graphic literature, and movies/tv shows. So the books are yes based on the same subject as the star wars movies but they are another realm of the subject so do some of us a favor and keep them separate.

    • This article is about a year old, and that isn’t how Lucasfilm was set up, at the time. There was no “cinematic universe”, as it were, like there is with Marvel. All stories were part of the same continuity, with different forms of media having different levels of canonicity. They even had a grading system where they leveled everything’s importance, with the any movie or TV media taking top priority. But everything fell into one cohesive continuity. This has changed in recent months, with the older non-filmed media being assigned to a “Classics”-type imprint. But future Expanded Universe will still follow that same, and in fact, even stricter canonicity, as before. They were not separate, and were decidedly not treated as separate by Lucasfilm for decades.