It turns out Mark Hamill sensed a disturbance in the force, for the iconic Luke Skywalker actor almost rejected the opportunity to play the Jedi Master once again. Only appearing for a few minutes at the very end of The Force Awakens, Hamill shrouded Luke in mystery after Rey (Daisy Ridley) discovered the long lost Jedi and returned the nostalgic lightsaber to its rightful master.
However, according to movie director J.J Abrams, Hamill was initially “resistant” to the idea; despite Luke being at the heart of Star Wars: “We knew that getting to Luke was the whole story. 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” – Abrams told IGN.
He continued, explaining he understood Hamill’s reservations: “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 going on, I’m three pages before the end, the last page, what”?
Evidently Abrams managed to convince him otherwise, and seemed eternally grateful as without Hamill’s approval, we wouldn’t have got that iconic finale: “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”.