[WARNING: The following contains potential spoilers for "Star Wars: Episode IX," and while we're at it, possibly "Episode VIII," too.]
We didn't see a whole heck of a lot of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but that's ok, because they're totally going to make up for that in "Star Wars Episode VIII" and "Episode IX," right? We know from numerous sources that Luke Skywalker will be a fairly major part of the next part of the Star Wars saga, "Episode VIII," but now, comments from Mark Hamill himself have cast some doubt on whether or not he'll be in "Episode IX" at all.
This past weekend saw a special event in London where Mark Hamill got to interview Ray Davies of The Kinks, one of the actor's favorite bands, in front of an audience. While the majority of the show focused on discussing the band, Den of Geek reports that Hamill did make one comment about "Star Wars," but it may have been a pretty big one.
"I finish 'Episode VIII,' and then I'm out of work."
So how in the world are we supposed to take that statement? On the one hand, Mark Hamill could just mean that he'll be temporarily out of work. We know that filming on "Star Wars: Episode VIII" passed the half way point about a month ago, meaning they could have as little as a couple of months left in the shoot. If Mark Hamill's job is done on "Episode VIII" by the end of the summer of 2016, and with the release date of Episode IX not until the summer of 2019, it's going to be some time before filming for that movie begins. We'd guess it will be more than a year before Mark Hamill would be needed for "Star Wars: Episode IX."
Of course, there's a more insidious possibility in his statement, as well. It could be that Mark Hamill is saying that he won't even be in "Star Wars: Episode IX" at all. His work on "Episode VIII" could be the end of his time in "Star Wars" entirely. That really only means one thing for Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode VIII." We're hoping this isn't the case. We already lost one of our beloved characters in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and if we lose another in the very next movie, we may not be able to take it.