When reports came in last week that Harrison Ford might return as Han Solo, the fans response said it all. For one thing, it means the return of our favourite gun slinging smuggler, who shoots first and asks questions later. But while it sounds as though Harrison Ford is on board for Episode VII, what would happen if others aren't? In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Mark Hamill revealed that they could be written out altogether.
"George wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts - they would write us out"
Of course, this stunning news puts an entirely new slant on rumours of the return of fellow cast members, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. What will happen if they simply don't want to return? Will this be the end for Han and Leia? It all depends on whether the actors are still interested.
Do... or do not. There is no try.
Having said that, I think it's great that they won't be looking to recast old parts. While it worked in the prequel trilogy (due to it being set many years before Episode IV), I don't think it would sit quite so comfortably now. It's one thing to get a younger actor to play a younger version of a character, but I can't see it going down well if they recast Luke or Leia or any of the other characters that make up the backbone of the Star Wars universe. And things get a little more uncertain when Hamill reveals that "I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts." So despite the rumours, it seems that casting (and the entire film itself) is completely up in the air.
Then again, maybe not.
I am your father...
Could this be an indication that Luke, Leia and Han won't be playing such an important role in Episode VII after all? Perhaps making way for the next generation of Star Wars heroes? Mark Hamill adds weight to the rumour that the new film will take place far in the future (and will focus on Luke and Leia's offspring).
"I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring -- like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character."
And it's a fair assumption to make. So while it seems that none of the original cast have signed contracts, it sounds as though Hamill is definitely keen to make a return as the legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker. But will Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford be quite as amenable? If the future of their characters depends on it, I certainly hope so.
What do you think of this bold move by Lucas? Would you prefer them to recast the roles instead?