Mark Hamill on why he almost said no to The Force Awakens and what made him say yes

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Dec 17, 2018, 5:00 PM EST (Updated)

Back when Disney announced a new trilogy of films to continue the Star Wars saga, fans were understandably both thrilled and apprehensive. With the prequels still very fresh in our collective memory, we all wondered if revisiting the franchise yet again would really be worth it (I mean, aside from the hundreds of millions of dollars Disney was sure to make). What if meddling with the classics was a really bad idea?

Well, Mark Hamill had the same fear with the prospect of playing Luke Skywalker again. While promoting his new film Brigsby Bear at the Sundance Film Festival last week, Hamill said his first thought about the new trilogy was that Disney should "leave well enough alone."

"I was really frightened about it," Hamill told Vulture. "I knew I couldn't resist the challenge, but I said, 'Well, here's the thing: If it's not in solidarity with Harrison and Carrie – or Carrison, as I call them – then there's an escape route. Because if Harrison doesn't do it, that's my escape route.' And I thought, 'He'll never do it. He's too rich and too cranky.'" 

Then Harrison Ford seemed to be warming to the idea, and Hamill felt he had no choice.

"Once he said in the press that he was doing it I thought 'Well, I just got drafted. Because if I say no to this, these people are gonna be outside my house like the angry villagers in Frankenstein with lightsabers instead of torches. I'll be the most hated man in fandom.'" 

So Hamill agreed to return, unaware at the time that he would only be in the flim for about a minute. That worked out well -- not just because he got to ease back into the role, but because he didn't have to bear the full force of fandom's response to the flick.

"It was the best of both worlds. I could enjoy it all without having the responsibility on my shoulders."

Hamill is expected to have a much bigger role in this year's The Last Jedi, so we might have to check back with him in a few months to see if he's still happy with his decision. Check out Hamill's full remarks below.