Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Star Wars Exclusive: Mark Hamill Says Carrie Fisher Was “Huge Part” of Chapter 9, He Has Large Role in “The Last Jedi”


I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Mark Hamill last night at the Plaza Hotel after party for the Tonys. He and his wife Marilou couldn’t be nicer or more friendly. They represent the Jedi with grace and humor!

Apropos of that, I don’t think Luke Skywalker is the actual last Jedi. He was very upbeat about “Star Wars” and his future with it. He wasn’t totally forthcoming about spoilers but did tell me a few things.

For one, he said, “Carrie [Fisher] was supposed to be a huge part of chapter 9.” What will happen now? He said, “I don’t know. We’re waiting for the rewrite.”

As for Chapter 8, “The Last Jedi,” Hamill told me: [Director] Rian Johnson was amazing to work with.” Does he– Mark/Luke– have a bigger role in “Jedi”? “A bigger one than I had in the last one!” He said that when he filmed the final scene of “The Force Awakens,” he had no idea it would be of such great consquence– or lead to anything else. “It was cold up there,” he said, joking. So is he Rey’s father?

“You really want a story,” he said, laughing.

Mark told me about his early career. For a year he was on “General Hospital.” “I almost married the girl who played my sister,” he said. “And she was my older sister.” Was he killed off? “I don’t remember,” he said. Instead, he married Marilou in 1978 right after “Star Wars” became the biggest thing since sliced bread.

Does he still get a piece of the action on “Star Wars”? For years it was believed that he, Ford, and Fisher were participants. “A long time ago George Lucas said he gave us a point or something. But that was just for theatrical release, not DVD or streaming.”

Hamill did introduce the In Memoriam section at the Tonys. I wondered why since he’s not generally associated with theater. “I did a few shows when I was young,” he said. “But they asked, and I couldn’t refuse.” We’re glad he didn’t.

PS Mark did have a nice reunion backstage with James Earl Jones, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Technically they are father and son. “I didn’t meet him for a long time,” Hamill told me. “For the first movie, he came in and did all his work in three hours and left. Nine to twelve, and gone.”

Three hours that changed film history.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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