Harrison Ford convinced Mark Hamill to return to 'Star Wars' franchise

Luke Skywalker didn't want to rejoin the force -- until Han Solo convinced him.

Mark Hamill said he was not interested in reprising his iconic role as Luke Skywalker in the new “Star Wars” movies but signed on after Harrison Ford convinced him.

Hamill told The New York Times he was “just really scared” after “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas informed him there were plans for more “Star Wars” movies that involved Skywalker, Solo and Princess Leia.

“I thought, why mess with it?’” Hamill told The New York Times. “The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote.”

Hamill said Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, was immediately on board with reprising her role in the new films.

Carrie Fisher poses for cameras as she arrives at the European Premiere of Star Wars, The Force Awakens in Leicester Square, London, December 16, 2015.     REUTERS/Paul Hackett/File Photo - TM3ECBG0TIE01

Carrie Fisher was immediately on board to reprise her role as Princess Leia.  (Reuters)

“I’m in!” Fisher exclaimed, he recalled.

“I said, ‘Carrie, poker face!’” Hamill said. “No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star. It’s sad.”

Hamill said he was apprehensive about signing on and was sure Ford would also reject the opportunity.

Ford told Jimmy Kimmel in 2015 that he asked Lucas to kill off Solo during the original three films.

“I asked him to ask the writers to kill me off, because I thought that it would be good that the character who appeared to have not so much of a complex interweaving with the theme of the Force and all that good stuff.” Ford told Kimmel. “I thought it would be good that the character, if he sacrificed himself in some noble way.”

However, Ford’s character was not killed off.


“He’s (Ford) too old and too rich and too cranky,” Hamill said of Ford. “He’s not going to do this.”

To Hamill’s surprise, Ford was also on board for the new films.

“Can you imagine if I was the only one to say 'no'? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom,” Hamill said.

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015, file photo, Mark Hamill arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Hamill is featured in the trailer released Oct. 9, 2017, for the follow-up to "The Force Awakens." (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director said Mark Hamill "was not particularly happy" with how small his role was in the 2015 film.  (AP)

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams told The New York Times that Hamill “was not particularly happy” with how small his role was in the 2015 film.

“I let him know before he read the script that his role was minimal,” Abrams told The New York Times. “I don’t think he knew just how minimal until he read it.”


Hamill said the decision turned out well since the next film’s storyline, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” revolved around Skywalker.

However, Hamill said he was “disappointed” Princess Leia would not get the air time she deserved. Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016, at the age of 60 from cardiac arrest.

“She (Fisher) deserved that second act,” Hamill said. “Harrison was more prominent in VII, I’m more prominent in this one, and she was meant to be more prominent in the last one. Her timing was perfect, except in this case.”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will hit theaters on Dec. 15.