In the modern era of “Star Wars”, no actor feels more like the poster child for the series than Mark Hamill.
The absence of his character from “The Force Awakens” is the focal point of the story. His character development from grumpy whiner to slightly less grumpy superhero is at the core of “The Last Jedi”.
Something tells me that his absence from “Episode IX” will end up defining that movie too. Although we will probably get to see him as a blue Force ghost at some point.
For his part, Hamill has been relishing his returned position as the face of “Star Wars”. He’s been speaking to anyone who’ll listen about his opinion on all things related to the franchise and beyond.
Sometimes these opinions seem to contradict each other. Having recently announced that he’d be totally fine with being digitally de-aged for a future “Star Wars” movie, Hamill has now said that he’s basically done with the franchise. He simply doesn’t care anymore.
This comment seems to relate specifically to “Episode IX”, as Hamill notes that the cause of his apathy is the fact that the movie won’t “get the band back together”.
“It really has tarnished my ability to enjoy it to its fullest. You were asking earlier, ‘Are you going to come back?’ I don’t care anymore on that level because Han Solo is gone, Luke is gone. And you just can’t get the band back together the way you wanted it to be following Carrie’s passing.”
So it seems that a large part of the issue is that fact that Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. On this front, Hamill is totally justified in his feeling – it makes sense that a “Star Wars” experience without Fisher would feel empty, and would simply remind him of the loss of his dear friend.
There’s also possibly a suggestion here that Hamill is venting his frustration at the fact that the new trilogy of movies haven’t teamed up Han, Leia, and Luke for another adventure all together. Presumably, Hamill would have relished the opportunity to hang out with his former costars like the good old days.
On this front, I’m not sure that I can say that Hamill’s desire reflects what’s best for the series of movies.
One of the big strengths of JJ Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” is the fact that the movie creates a slew of new characters for modern audiences to fall in love with. Kids seeing these films need their own heroes to idolize, rather than watching aging superstars from years past replay their greatest hits.
Who knows? Perhaps if Shia LaBeouf’s character in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” had been less horribly annoying, the franchise would be enjoying the same renewed energy as “Star Wars” does now.
Either way, if Mark Hamill doesn’t seem all too enthusiastic about whatever ghostly role he may or may not have in “Episode IX”, bear in mind that he’s still grieving for his lost friend.
As are we all. We miss you, Carrie.