After more than four decades carrying the “Star Wars” torch as Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill says it’s time for a new generation of heroes to take his place in the “galaxy far, far away.”
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Hamill, 66, admits he was “shocked” when he read the script for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which hits theaters today, especially the scene promoted in trailers and other clips released, where Luke says the Jedi “must end.”
“I thought, ‘Are you kidding me? Jedi don’t quit,'” he said during a recent visit to the set of “Popcorn with Peter Travers.”
But Hamill has learned, especially after having only one part in “Last Jedi’s” predecessor “The Force Awakens” that “it can’t be the way it was in George [Lucas’s} original movies … it’s the next generation, and I have to accept that.”
In a wide-ranging interview that covered Hamill’s fond memories of the late Carrie Fisher and his thoughts on younger stars like Daisey Ridley and John Boyega, he opened up about the past, present and the future of “Star Wars.”
Hamill admits that while clips have shown the old Jedi Luke as downtrodden and morose, he couldn’t help “but become a little possessive of your character and say, “‘I wouldn’t do that or I wouldn’t say that.'”
But he said he’s happy “Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson pushed him out of his comfort zone. While clips of his character training Ridley’s Rey show him as an Obi-Wan type instructing the younger student, Hamill says only the legendary Alec Guinness could have been that character.
“My color is contemplative and morose,” he said, not like the wise, hopeful Obi-Wan, who still believed in the Jedi and in Luke.
But that doesn’t mean personally he didn’t learn from Guinness four decades ago while shooting “A New Hope” knowledge that he could pass on to Ridley, the new protagonist in the franchise.
“He was so generous with his advice and stories he would tell,” he said of working with the late acting legend. “I stayed in touch with him and have letters from him when he was England.”
Now, it’s his turn to mentor Ridley and even step aside in films like “The Force Awakens,” in which he didn’t even have a single speaking line. Instead, Ridley’s Rey tracks him down at…