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Abrams: Mark Hamill Was Resistant To Return For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

JJ Abrams has revealed that, after reading the script, Mark Hamill was resistant to return for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.

"We knew that getting to Luke was the whole story, and I was desperate to do the next chunk that we knew would not fit into this one movie," Abrams said in an interview.

"We knew that we had that ending, but it was a frightening and tricky thing to do, but at first and in all honesty, Mark Hamill was a little resistant."

"Imagine reading 'Star Wars', imagine being Mark Hamill and you get the script for the new Star Wars. 'Oh the opening is good, page two, oh, three and so on – what the f**k is the going on, I'm three pages before the end, the last page, what?'"

"He was so kind to do it, and at first he was like, 'Will it seem silly, will it be a joke that he is standing there?' I said to him, 'I don't think it will.'"

"I said because the whole movie is about that, it could be a great fun drum roll, up to seeing this guy."

Co-writer Lawrence Kasdan explained further why they went the route they did.

"Early on I tried to write versions of the story where Rey is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy's ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012."

"It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn't care about your main character anymore because, 'Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker's here. I want to see what he's going to do."

As for the similarities between the film and 'A New Hope', Abrams said: "It was a bridge and a kind of reminder; the audience needed to be reminded what 'Star Wars' is, but it needed to be established with something familiar, with a sense of where we are going to new lands, which is very much what 8 and 9 do."

"The weird thing about that movie is that it had been so long since the last one. Obviously the prequels had existed in between and we wanted to, sort of, reclaim the story. So we very consciously — and I know it is derided for this — we very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was 'Star Wars.'"

April 18, 2016 |

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