Mark Hamill Muses on New 'Star Wars': 'Go Retro'
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Mark Hamill's new movie Sushi Girl hits DVD and Blu-ray this week, and while talking about the project, the Star Wars legend was more than happy to provide ETonline with an update on his involvement with the in-development Star Wars VII – and what he thinks of those planned spinoff movies…
"It's all very, very exciting and so unexpected," says Hamill. "I think that's the quality I like about it most – it's like getting a pair of pants out of the closet you haven't worn in three years and finding a $20 bill in the pocket. It's just so unexpected."
First off, will he appear in Star Wars VII? "They're talking to us," he reveals. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."
Hamill, 61, says he's intrigued about where the new trilogy could go but says he knows nothing about the storyline: "I probably learn more from Entertainment Tonight than I do directly from Lucasfilm – like for instance, when George told us he wanted to do the next trilogy, he didn't tell us it was going to be done for Disney. He saved that little nugget, and I read it online like anybody else."
As for his thoughts about the next trilogy's tone, "I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway. And another thing I'd want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that's around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody's on board here, rather than just one. I guess I'll have to tune into your show to figure out who's on board."
In terms of where we'll pick up with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars VII, "I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring -- like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character. … When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there's a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she's your sister – I thought, 'Well, I'm going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I'm going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.'"
Hamill concludes of the next movie, "I hope they find the right balance of CGI with practical effects. I love props, I love models, miniatures, matte paintings -- I'm sort of old school. I think if you go too far in the direction of CGI it winds up looking like just a giant a video game, and that's unfortunate. … If they listen to me at all, it'll be, 'Lighten up and go retro with the way it looks.'"
As for those confirmed stand-alone Star Wars films, which may follow the adventures of a young Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda, Hamill observes, "That's really smart. Then you're more like James Bond pictures, where they come out and it's not an investment of a three-movie arc. … It's so rich, that [Star Wars] universe, in terms of quirkiness and oddball [nature]. We would talk about that [on the original film's set]. We'd go like, 'That little band that's playing in the Cantina, what's their story?! I mean, are they a traveling band? Are they the house band? Who's their manager?' They didn't have names when we first were talking about them. Now they're called, like, Sy Snootles – they come up with names down the road when they have to name toys."