After Disney/Lucasfilm unveiled the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the galaxy far, far away has dominated the entertainment industry thanks to aspects like Andy Serkis’ ominous-sounding voice, lightsabers with cross guards, and that Millennium Falcon shot. However, many fans were quick to point out that the sizzle reel was missing something that would have made it a complete package: looks at the original cast.
Part of the draw for The Force Awakens will be getting an opportunity to see Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher reprise their iconic roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia more than 30 years after the trio was last see on-screen in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Few thought moviegoers would have that chance, which is what makes the existence of Episode VII such a pleasant surprise. But the fact that it’s happening isn’t a big shock to Hamill, who has literally been waiting decades for this project to come into fruition.
While out promoting Jedi in 1983, Hamill did an interview where he first laid out George Lucas’ plans for the franchise to go beyond its sixth episode (hit tip THR). With the theatrical premiere of The Force Awakens just over a year away, the clip you can watch above is either a humorous coincidence or extremely prophetic.
Here’s what Hamill said all those years ago:
“He at one time asked, ‘would you consider playing an Obi-Wan-type character handing Excalibur down to the next generation? I said, ‘When would that be?’ and at the time he said, ‘Aww, around 2011.’”
Lucas was off by a few years concerning the movie’s release date, but it’s still funny to see that he, like so many Star Wars fans, had been thinking about what the future would hold for Luke and his companions after the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. As far back as when the filmmaker was working on the 1977 original, he believed that the saga’s story could in fact span nine (or even 12) motion pictures. Obviously, as time went on, Lucas felt that 2005’s Revenge of the Sith was the better endpoint, but the foundation for more films has always been there and now Disney is running with it.
Rumored character details for Luke indicate that the Jedi Master will not be in the best mental state when we first see him in The Force Awakens. Apparently, he’s so powerful with the Force that he goes into self-imposed isolation, afraid of what he might do should he go out in society again. Reports that he’s slightly deranged and his intentions are ambiguous would seemingly contradict Hamill’s 30+ year proclamation that Luke will be in the mold of an “Obi-Wan-type” for J.J. Abrams’ film.
Before word of Luke’s arc in the story came out, the speculated Episode VII storyline involved dual protagonists (played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley) embarking on a quest to find the AWOL Luke with Han and Chewbacca. Without knowing to what exactly the movie’s subtitle refers to, it’s very plausible that Boyega and Ridley’s characters discover that they are Force-sensitive and need proper guidance to harness their abilities. In that instance, placing the grizzled, wise Luke as their mentor would make a lot of sense and provide an interesting take on an established character.
Regardless of how Luke plays into the proceedings, the teaser made clear that the “next generation” of Boyega, Ridley, and Oscar Isaac are shaping up to be the focus of the new films. With the original cast coming back for (at least) one more round, it stands reason to believe that they will be involved with a “passing of the torch” scenario and help the newcomers begin their journey. Whatever that might entail, we’d have to say that the youngsters are in good hands. After all, the veterans defeated the Empire, so they can handle anything that comes their way.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will hit theaters December 18, 2015.
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