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. Hamil didn’t shed any light on future plans, but good for George Lucas if he uses that money for charity. There’s already the George Lucas foundation for education.

  2. What a nice chap

  3. I kinda feel sorry for Mark Hamill.

    On one hand, he’s been pestered about returning to voice The Joker in more Batman videogames and now his other iconic role is being talked about as possibly having at least a cameo in future Star Wars movies.

    • I fail to see why you feel sorry for him.

    • I agree with Jibs.

  4. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they asked Mark Hamill for at least a cameo. Luke is in a lot of post Episode VI stories, with him founding the New Jedi Order and all that.

    It would be a nice touch of continuity. :)

    I am optimistic about SW in the hands of Disney so far, we’ll see how it goes.

    • I want no Luke, Leia, or Han. The new movies if they are indeed after ROTJ should be set long enough after that those characters are no more. Or it should be WAY before them.

      I didn’t hate the prequels. I thought there was some flat dialogue and some flat acting but even Ep II had some good sequences.

      After having seen the trailers for SWTOR, and the amazing action they had, I say head to the past for Star Wars. Just like the great game that too many people panned because it didn’t change every dynamic imaginable in the MMO genre there are lots of tales to tell before anything that happened in the existing 6 films…

      If you haven’t seen those trailers check out :
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpJX7hgRjJo

      and

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y77BsaCoOMk

      and

      • Those videos are great it kinda all I ever wanted from the prequels.

      • I don’t think any dialogue in Star Wars was flat. Anakin and Padme’s love scenes are amng my favorite in the saga. The prequels, in my opinion, are better than the originals.

  5. Hamill is 61. It’s possible he could an play older Luke Skywalker, as an Obi Wan Kenobi mentor type, to a whole new Jedi story.

    Why not?

    He was good in the original trilogy.

    • Agreed. It would be a travesty if such an iconic actor was left out of the sequels. Hamill was a key part of making Star Wars a cultural phenomenon.

      I think your suggestion of him taking on the role of mentor is a great one – a nice sense of the story turning full circle. I wonder who could take the role of his protege, if this was they way they planned to take it?

    • my thoughts exactly

    • Considering Skywalker was literally the last Jedi by the end of the original trilogy, it would just not be right if he didn’t return as the one who singlehanded, brings back the sect from the brink of extinction.

      Hamill is available and I bet would jump at the chance to reprise his role.

    • I hope he needs to get power couplers from Toshy Station again :P

    • I’d press the ‘like’ button but I don’t see one,Bobba and Bossk should also be in this movie

  6. Hopefully this be good, good for you George

  7. Disney at the Helm,I really feel not good about it !
    Its like you order some Chinese food…and it looks like chinese food,but its the taste of a Burger ! Not sure if you get me ! I love differences,not all things taste the same !
    With George giving up on Lucasfilm to Disney I fear the worst for any future Star Wars installments ! Something like Michael Bay at the Helm :(
    New Star Wars Movies could be epic..if maybe done in the way like the lord of the rings trilogy !

    My big worries are for sure for the Star Wars Live TV Show..i think we can kiss that good bye !

    Can’t imagine dark and gritty..like an HBO drama or game of thrones style done by Disney !

    • Disney and ABC are the same company. ABC produces Scandal, Rookie Blue, 666 Park Avenue and Lost. I think they can handle a Star Wars TV show. Not everything Disney produces has one timbre to it. They create a diverse collection of movies and TV ranging from family friendly to supernatural thrillers. With movies and television, it’s not who owns it, it’s who directs and puts the overall pieces together. Where the money comes from is irrelevant to the narrative.

      • Well said, but sadly the studios will always have a hand in the movies/shows they make.
        Usually they don’t play as large a part as people think, but they’re still able to make or break (or drastically change) a movie/show if they want.

    • I just saw someone post on Saw Witwer’s (Starkiller, Force Unleashed) Twitter that he needs to be in the new star wars with I agree with and then he went on to say that Michael Bay needs to direct it. I wanted to punch that kid in the face.

      • With you on that one, I am a massive SW fan but if Bay even touches this movie I will not be seeing it in the cinema, he has already taken my beloved transformers (from childhood cartoons) and raped them – Cant wait to see Shia Labeouf as the new jedi knight, that jerk from Mr Deeds as the Sith Lord and that terrible but fit Megan Fox as princess ‘something or other’. I am sure Disney can not be that stupid can they?? Michael Bay is the worst movie director of ALL TIME fact.

        • He made The Rock though which aint bad. :) But I agree with you though, even if he was only in contention but still not chosen i’ll avoid avoid avoid, because I would not trust Disney’s/Kennedy’s judgement. But he won’t get a look in I’m sure.

          One things for sure there will be controversy in pre-production, be it in casting choice/director choice/screenwriter choice.

  8. Fact is, and let’s be honest here, we’re all worrying about something that nothing is known about. I look at it pragmatically here – Disney owns Marvel, ABC and Touchstone Pictures – these are *not* the traditional brand of Disney media products. Touchstone puts out some very gritty and adult fare. Marvel’s fare is yeah. based off comics, but it’s still got grit, and sexiness and even blood/death. ABC, well… they have their share of adult oriented fare as well. I’d like to think that Disney does not tamper too much with these studio’s products, so long as the all-mighty dollar can be recouped and then some. Do I worry they will interfere with Star Wars? Not in a tangible way – certainly not to the level that the worry-warts are stressed out about. I say let them give us the first film before we make pre-emptive salvos about what they may or may not do with the IP.

    • Well said Joer. I agree with your sentiment to the letter when I found out George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney,I thought they could possibly go a rated PG route when clearly with Revenge of the Sith and the latest episodes of The Clone Wars,Star Wars was definitly getting darker and edgier,so lets hold out hope that Disney shows respect to where Star Wars was heading in terms of the grittier and more violent stories and content that were coming from the franchise as of late.

  9. Screw a cameo. If Mark isn’t the star or at least one of them then I’m not interested. Ford is going to be a no show unless they kill off Solo and hand him a 20 mill check, but Mark is the soul of that franchise. Without him, you just don’t have a flick. Period.

    • Why would they kill off the character and pay the actor?

      • I might very well be wrong. But I think what Alboon is trying to say is that the only way Harrison Ford will agree to be a part of it is if its the last movie they ask him to do (thus they would probalby kill off Han to write him out of the rest of the series) and payed him handsomely to do it.

        • Ford begged to be killed off in Jedi but Lucas wouldn’t go for it. I wonder if Spielberg would direct? Or is Dreamworks too much of a direct competitor to Disney? He was supposed to direct Jedi and was greatly disappointed that a strike ultimately forbade him from doing so…

    • YES, No Mark Hamill NO SALE!

  10. I hope they base the new movies off the novels or some portion of the expanded universe instead of making something up. The Star Wars universe is vast and has many important stories it could tell. It would be cool if they did get Mark Hamill back to cameo or something on the new council or as a force ghost or hologram recording.

    • You said everything I wanted to say… I think… nope… yeah, you said it all man!

  11. So what was the point of that prophecy? Vader saves Luke, brings balance to the Force, and…. what.
    Next week, I foresee I shall do my laundry. Then stuff happens after that.
    Keep bringing Luke and the Sith back and the first six movies don’t matter as much. But oh goody, more stuff with the Force and droids and blasters, etc.

    • Sorry, I forgot: Period.

      • The prophecy foresaw the end of Darth Bane’s Sith Order, which did end at Endor. The Sith were gone for a while after ROTJ. They didn’t return until Lumiya emerged thirty-odd years later. It’s not even realistic that the Force and the galaxy would suddenly be in balance just because a prophecy predicted it so. I wouldn’t even like Star Wars if the Expanded Universe didn’t exist. With just the six movies, Star Wars is boring as hell. Ecen with the EU, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are still superior to it.

  12. I don’t often use the word but I must say I am “stunned” about this story. It’s just so absolutely amazing, I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s a GOOD thing and their are so many possibilities one wouldn’t really know where to start.

    Too much has been said about George Lucas and the “prequels.” No need to go there anymore. It’s all been said. The bottom line is that Mr Lucas gave us Star Wars. He alone, from his singular vision, created these stories and characters that are now part of our cultural heritage and consciousness. Out of mythology, he created his own. And now it’s ours, too.

    I have faith that Lucas took his time and has entrusted his “Empire” with a legacy that will live on. Longer than Lucas, longer than even we the fans. That’s how big and transcendent “The Star Wars” really are. Personally, I finally realized that when this news broke.

    Lucas is donating the bulk of his financial fortunes to worthy causes. I find this to be incredibly inspirational and shows the nature of his humanity. The Force is with you, George. And seemingly, it is with us all if we seek it out.

    Star Wars Episode’s VII, VIII and IX. I’ll be there!

    I suppose my only question would be; is Disney (along with Kathleen Kennedy) going forward in converting and distributing the remaining episodes in 3D?

    • I hate to say it but people might continue to think badly of the prequels, even if your exclamation hits its marks!!!

      • Interesting screen name you have….

  13. luke should absolutely be an obi wan/qui gon roll and mirror episode 1 and 4, which i have a feelings is the route they will take anyways. it will be about a farm boy type that that goes off on a space adventure to save someone after meeting luke, who shows him the ways of the force. luke will then be killed by the new evil sith thats taking over the galaxy. the new kid will team with a group of people to fight back and reclaim the galaxy. he will then find out that luke was his father and in episode 8 he will discover that the new sith is his long lost twin brother. this s*#t writes its self at this point!

    • Or ya know, they could do something new.

  14. am I gonna be the first to say it?

    Del Torro to direct …… nuff said !

  15. Good for him. He’ll never need to worry about money for the rest of his life prior to the sale. Now, he can reinforce his legacy as an incredibly generous philanthropist. God bless you, sir.

  16. I would be really disappointed if he didn’t at least make a cameo, at the very least in a flashback. It would just add so much continuity..

  17. George Lucas is a great and honorable man. And I say this without a hint of sarcasm.

  18. I think the original cast needs to return but they need to play the roles of yoda type characters. Put them on the back burner to give room for new and exciting roles. AKA starkiller.

  19. Wow, good on Mr. Lucas! And I think a Luke Skywalker cameo could work pretty well. It all depends on what the story is though, of course. :)

  20. They should make Luke a spirit of the Force, have him help a non-believer, perhaps a young woman. Throw it so far into the future that the novels of E.U. have no effect on the film series.

  21. Will it have the Droids? It’s gotta have R2-d2. All the movies are seen through his eyes

  22. marvel and star wars cross over

    • Maybe Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy is really an ewoke ?

  23. Seriously, if Hamill isn’t in this, then Disney can go implode for all I care.

    How in the hell can you leave out the quintessential character, aside from Vader? For Christ’s sake, the original trilogy is based around him! If he’s the last Jedi, (along with possibly Leia) then how would any other Jedi-talk not center around him? You literally cannot go forward without Luke playing a vital role in rebuilding the Jedi order or the Republic with Leia.

    In this sense, Carri Fisher and Mark need to be brought back in full force. I can’t stand naysayers who will go on about how out of shape they are, washed up, etc. etc. Get over it. They belong in the movie, and it would be a complete travesty to not have them in it. Go tell John McClane to hang up his shoes, or Jeff Bridges to stop playing Finn in TRON.

    George’s stories are all about Luke and the crew and what happens after. Even Hamill knew this WAYYYY back in the day and mentioned so much in an interview. Han Solo should be in it still as well as Chewie. Hopefully the don’t modernize it too much and still keep it dirty looking. Original actors are a MUST

    • Yes, its nice to see someone who makes sense. I’m so tired of these punks who are obviously agists posting that the original actors are too old..

      If they cater to those people, it would be a HUGE mistake, because they are not going to like the movie anyway! And it will suck! Bring back Mark! When we are at the movie theater and he comes on the screen for the first time, the movie theater is going to explode! People will be having nerdgasms all the over the place. Disney would be fools to ignore that kind of power! I know what I’ll be chanting before the movie starts.

      Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark!!Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark!!!

  24. I can see a South Park episode where they have George reading internet comments, or watching Red Light Media’s reviews about how crappy the prequels, Crystal Skull, and Red Tails were and crying over how he’s ruined his once indisputable artistic vision. So he says, “I can’t die leaving the aftertaste of these movies in the public’s mouth, so what do I do? I can make another great movie, perhaps with Justine Bieber making a cameo. No, I can’t make another great movie; We saw how Red Tails turned out. I suck now. So what is it I can offer? What do I have a lot of? Oh… money. It’s genius—I can give billions to charity. That way, no matter how terrible Jar-Jar Binks was, they can never say anything but great things about me.” And I agree. Damn anyone to Hell who ever says another bad word against the man. George, you have officially redeemed yourself from all past offenses.

    • I really liked REDTAILS,it did what it set out to do,tell an inspiring,old fashioned,patriotic WW2 story for young African-Americans who had little or no knowledge of this major part of Black History and American History.

  25. It would be interesting to see different stand alone character films like Boba Fett. Disney has done pretty well with the Marvel line so we will see. Also Lucas how about you throw some of that money my way.

    • I had never thought about that possibility, but that sounds awesome. A Fett movie would be interesting in that he isn’t evil he’s just a guy doing a job. I am sure he worked for the Rebels at some point as well.

      • Only if Bossk and Denger are in it as sidekicks or secondry characters and IG-88 as a rival, along with ‘disitergrations’.

    • Only if Bossk and Denger are in it as sidekicks or secondry characters and IG-88 as a rival.

  26. Just watch, they’ll get M Night Shyamalan to direct it, haha ;)

  27. EDUTOPIA

  28. Good for Lucas. It’s always heartwarming to see Hollywood big-shots look at the bigger picture (this goes for his franchise, as well as his philanthropic endeavors).

    I agree with eddie money, even though Lucas has made some crappy movies in the past, and kinda ruined Star Wars for many fans, I’d say he’s redeemed himself.

    Everybody wins here:
    Charities will get aid (win)
    Lucas gets some more retirement money and will still act as a creative consultant (win… for him)
    And we get more Star Wars movies not in the hands of George Lucas (huge win)

  29. Star Wars was great in the 5 films so far (Yes I know there are 6 films. 1 I cannot stand) Disney, I fear would give us Star Wars films that no one really wants,and then it becomes like Star Trek, it gets water down and it gets really bad.

    • I disagree with you, Jeff W. I think all six films were brilliant. I’ll even go as far to say each one got better than the last.

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