Last night, on Star Wars Day, Twitter was abuzz with talk that George Lucas and Disney CEO Bob Iger would be making a huge announcement at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. While that never materialized, there was a special guest at the 30th anniversary screening of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, held at Entertainment Weekly's CapeTown Film Festival.
After the screening, Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, joined the audience for a Q&A period where he spoke a lot about his thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII. He recalls how surprised he was to hear George Lucas tell him and Carrie Fisher that the sequel trilogy would be made, because Hamill always felt Return of the Jedi would be the end of the story. The most intriguing story Hamill told, though, was that he had a creative meeting with Lucasfilm President and sequel trilogy producer Kathleen Kennedy. According to Hamill, he told Kennedy:
- I know I can't turn back the clock in terms of CGI, but I wish you'd find a balance between miniatures, models, and matte paintings and CGI. Give it the proper balance so that the audience, when they see a vehicle on screen, even if it's a miniature, the camera perceives that it's got weight and depth and scope and three dimensions. So I'm sort of old school.
In terms of Kennedy's response, Hamill said that, "To her credit, she might just be trying to placate me because I'm in the room saying that I want it to have the right balance. She said, 'you know, I've had this very same conversation with George, and I have to remind you that in Jurassic Park, there are only 92 effects shot.' Everything else are puppets, giant T-Rex, you know. That's remarkable."
Hamill has previously told Entertainment Weekly that he would like to see the new films return to the "more carefree and lighthearted and humorous" tone of the original films, that "if you go too far in the direction of CGI it winds up looking like just a giant video game," and that if it were up to him he would "go retro with the way it looks." Given that, it is no surprise that he told Kennedy much the same thing. He did joke, however, that he can't imagine what he wants is a priority for the production team.
During the Q&A, Hamill also said he would like to see the "general sense of panache and adventure" of the originals return to the films, as well as what the original trilogy did to emulate old adventure films. He also talked about Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm; although he was surprised by the purchase at first, he said it made a lot more sense as he kept thinking about it, and that he is a fan of what they’ve done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Muppets.
Perhaps even more interesting is that the creative meeting suggests Hamill will be involved in Episode VII in some capacity. Many fans are hoping that Hamill returns to the role of Luke Skywalker, and that Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will return to their roles as Han Solo and Princess Leia. Hamill did not say whether he would be in the film, and he hasn't spoken to Ford as to whether Han Solo will return, but he has talked to Fisher and she is eager to reprise her role.
I haven't found the full video of the event anywhere, but one attendee did upload part of the Q&A to Vimeo. Check it out below:
What do you think about Hamill's Episode VII thoughts? Sound off below!