With the announcement that Star Wars: Episode VII is official and slated for a 2015 release, the rumors are flying fast and furious. Who will be in it? How will it connect to the other films? Will it still feel like Star Wars without George Lucas involved? Long-time fans of the franchise know that this latest round is hardly the first time people have speculated about a Star Wars film set after the events of Return of the Jedi. Those rumors have been flying for decades, spurred on by Lucas’ frequently contradictory statements about hypothetical prequels and/or sequels.
Back in 1983, Mark Hamill sat down for an interview with Maria Shriver and revealed that sequels were expected…but that Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia wouldn’t be involved. Check out the interview below, and skip ahead to the 3:06 mark to get to the relevant segment, and then we’ll compare the supposed future of the franchise circa 1983 to where we are now.
It’s fascinating to see how the supposed future of the Star Wars franchise has shifted over the years. At the time of this video, they’re talking about a planned three trilogies…which, as it turns out, is exactly what’s going to happen. Just not necessarily in the way Lucas originally envisioned it.
Hamill does drop some curious comments when asked if he had been hired to appear again in another Star Wars film some 18 years in the future (either 2001 or 2004, depending on whether you go by the math of Hamill’s reply). Hamill describes his theoretical return as “on another plane of existence” or possibly playing a different character. With Episode VII currently rumored to feature an older Luke Skywalker, to be played by somebody other than Hamill, there’s no telling what the actor was referring to here. Maybe at that point Lucas was planning on introducing a mostly new cast (aside from the ever-present R2-D2 and C-3PO), but having Luke Skywalker appear in ghostly, one-with-the-Force form, a la Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy.