In just two months, Star Wars fans around the world will get to see a younger version of everyone's favorite smuggler in Solo: A Star Wars Story. In that film, set between the prequels and the original trilogy, Alden Ehrenreich takes over the controls of the Millennium Falcon to deliver a version of Han Solo before he entered the main Star Wars saga, and before he looked like Harrison Ford.
The impending release of Solo, as well as the previous success of Rogue One, has naturally produced plenty of fan speculation that other younger versions of classic Star Wars characters could be headed for spinoff films. The list of potential new solo films is long, and Luke Skywalker is usually on it.
Mark Hamill has played the iconic Jedi hero in five films over the course of four decades, but at 66 he's definitely not going to be playing a younger version of himself without some major digital de-aging. So, if a young Luke film were to get made, it's quite likely that a younger actor would take over the role. With that in mind, fans have not only started making their own lists of candidates, but they've been asking Hamill who he'd like to see in the role, too.
Speaking to Variety last week in celebration of his new Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Hamill said he was "flattered" by fans who've dubbed Avengers: Infinity War co-star Sebastian Stan a perfect fit for young Luke, even if Hamill himself isn't really sure how that would work.
“It depends on when in Luke’s life would you have him be in the movie. Because at first, I said … the whole point of Luke was that he was bored silly with his life. All he was doing was — What was it? — bullseyeing wamp rats in his T-16," Hamill said.
Hamill's point here is one of the key issues with making any kind of Luke Skywalker solo film. In many ways, a young Luke Skywalker film already exists, and it's called Star Wars. He's a farm boy from Tatooine who's never done anything exciting when we first meet him, so how do you prequelize that? Plus, at 35, Stan is already quite a bit older than Luke is supposed to be by the time the first film begins. If you want him to play the role, you'd have to make a film set sometime between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens which, while tricky, is certainly far from impossible.
So, when thinking about young Luke, Hamill's mind drifts further back from someone like Stan, to the idea of a much younger Luke who's embroiled by birth in events swirling around him. If that's the kind of film Disney would aim for, he has another name in mind.
“Now, if they could have like they do now where they have five or six plots and you’re cutting to what’s going on all around him and they keep cutting back to a really young Luke, I thought, ‘The one I love is Jacob Tremblay.'"
Tremblay, an 11-year-old actor whose breakthrough came in the 2015 film Room (alongside Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for her role in that film), could certainly play Luke as a child with a head full of questions who perhaps even encounters Old Ben Kenobi out in the desert without knowing how significant that meeting is to his future. As Hamill noted, though, for that to work you'd essentially have to make Luke a small part of a bigger film, and that wouldn't be a Luke Skywalker solo movie. It would essentially just be another prequel. Again, not impossible, but not necessarily the most exciting idea either.
There's no end in sight for Star Wars at the moment, which means we'll likely get more stories about Luke Skywalker, whether they occur on film or in print. Hamill's character is part of a bigger machine, but for now it might be best to let Luke Skywalker wear only one face on the big screen.