Mark Hamill on Returning to ‘Star Wars’: ‘I Get the Chills’

Mark Hamill
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Like many Luke Skywalker fans, Mark Hamill isn’t a huge fan of the beard he’ll be sporting in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“That is what I call my contractually obligated beard,” Hamill told Yahoo Movies. “I never got used to it. But face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.”

The first teaser trailer for “The Force Awakens” sparked plenty of conversation (and imitation) after rolling out online and in select theaters over Thanksgiving weekend. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas recently admitted that he hadn’t seen the trailer.

Hamill, on the other hand, said he watched the new footage online, and the genre icon seemed enthusiastic about the response: “The great thrill for me was watching the video of fans watching the trailer … I forget how happy this stuff makes a certain segment of our population. I mean, I really was moved to see these people that happy.”

But returning to the galaxy far, far away wasn’t immediately appealing to Hamill. “I said to George, ‘Have you really thought this through? Because maybe it’s not such a great idea,'” he admitted. “But I had a feeling, I said,  ‘You know what – if there’s a weak link, if Carrie [Fisher] or Harrison [Ford] decides they don’t want to do it, there’s an out. Because it’s all or nothing. It should be all of us or none of us.’ So I was ready to go either way. And now that we’re all in, we’ll see what happens.”

While some fans were disappointed not to see Hamill and original trilogy co-stars Fisher and Ford in the “Episode VII” teaser, Hamill wasn’t surprised by their absence. “This is about the new generation of characters; I think that’s the most important thing. It’s the opening act of a whole new approach to the storytelling … When George said that they wanted to do more, I rightly assumed that it wouldn’t be our story, because we had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This must be our offspring and the current generation, with us there lending the kind of support that Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness did in the original.”

Fans of the franchise went into a frenzy when the names of the new characters in “The Force Awakens” were revealed Thursday.

One of the biggest hits of the new footage was BB-8, the rolling droid who seems like a fitting successor to R2-D2. Hamill seemed just as enthusiastic about the character’s debut as “Star Wars” fans online. “It’s not CGI, that’s a live prop — I was just amazed. They let me play around with it. I was running it all around at the creature shop up in Pinewood. I’m telling you, it’s an absolute delight. And not having thought that I’d ever go back there, to go back into that world, is just — I get the chills. It’s just so much fun.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bows Dec. 18, 2015.

Read Yahoo’s full interview with Hamill here.

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  1. IT 2 IT says:

    “We now live in a 100% PSYCHOPATHIC culture.
    ————-PSYCHOPATH culture is encapable of GENUINE creativity.
    ——————————It can only repeat itself endlessly,
    ————————————————-and ‘evolve’ along pre-determined technical lines.”
    Fmr HOLLYWOOD GUY
    scholar/ writer/ film-maker
    Informed Radio
    SWEDEN

    In short —-BLUH!

  2. alex says:

    You could tell he always liked the Star Wars movies he was in. That must be nice.

  3. nerdrage says:

    I have a feeling the “new generation of characters” aren’t going to come close to taking over the icon status of the originals. Maybe Adam Driver can break out as the new Darth Vader; Oscar Isaac will probably make a splash as the Han Solo-esque character. But it’s too bad we were cheated of seeing the adventures of Luke, Leia and Han in their younger years. Maybe an animated series? Dave Filoni seems to be on a roll.

  4. The name of the movie is terrible (the new republic, or New Jedi Order… Rise of the Republic< anything but that "the force awakens" doesn't apply to anything..). At least 50 percent of this movie should be dedicated to the original cast and their adventures post jedi.

    The Empire was VAST….The power vacuum created with loss of the Sith Lord and the second death star… is immense. The Rebel have limited resources and have to work fast and hard to bring worlds into the fold of the recovering republic.

    The rebels have to go on the offensive in system after system to try and eliminate the Empires remaining forces. Leia and Han I'm sure will take that mantle.

    Luke needs to go into hiding and recover… then begin so search and find those out there with the force and bring them into the fold. He has to train new jedi and focus on that task. The Republic without Jedi… is no republic.

    • nerdrage says:

      The Force Awakens means that it’s become stronger. You’ll see a wave of power go out through the cosmos and make people who were originally just regular folks, now suddenly have Force powers.

      And yeah I know that’s a terrible idea. We get the adventures of the Jedi B Team who wouldn’t have made the grade except for Force Affirmative Action. But that rumor sounds just like the kind of garbage fanfic ideas JJ Abrams comes up with, so I bet it comes to pass.

      • @nerdrage “Force Affirmative Action”? what you really meant is, “screw J.J. Abrams for destroying the legacy of Star Wars by letting a chick and black guy be the heroes.”

      • Duder NME says:

        With the prophecy fulfilled, not sure how else Abrams was going to continue the drama, short of using flashbacks, flashforwards, and flashsides. Disney has to create its own mythos (following an encumbered novel series wasn’t cutting it), which means a whole new prophecy. Mo’ myth, mo’ problems.

        But yeah, Force Emergents and T-Sabers do scream “suck it, basement writers, I win!”.

  5. It sound like the Star Wars producer was too busy focus on the new character that they forgot that it is the old character have the fan rushing to the movie .

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