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Star Wars: Mark Hamill talks use of CGI in Episode 7

As the world celebrated 'Star Wars' day on May 4th a special screening of 'Return of the Jedi' took place in California at Entertainment Weekly's CapeTown Film Festival.

What made it special wasn't the film however, which was no doubt shown around the world with the rest of the 'Star Wars' saga, it was because afterwards Luke Skywalker himself Mark Hamill made a special appearance.

The star spoke at length about his memories filming the series and reaffirmed that he would indeed be returning for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'.

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Sometimes the ways an actor words whether they will appear in a film adds an element of doubt but Hamill couldn't have been clearer: "Yes, I'm in Episode VII,"

He also spoke in some relative depth about the production and his first creative meeting for the film, but he still admitted that the packed crowd "probably know more about it than I do".

"I don't even think I believed that the third trilogy would feature us," he said. "I thought it would be all different characters. To my knowledge, we were just going to do a beginning, a middle and an end [in the original trilogy] and it was over.

"I'm still in a state of shock that they want to do more."

It would seem that the team behind 'Episode VII' are eager to learn from the mistakes made in the making of the prequel trilogy, which infamously left a lot of 'Star Wars' fans cold.

"I've only had one creative meeting about the new films, but I do remember saying, 'We've got to find a proper balance between CGI and old school [FX]."

After a short, appreciative applause from the audience Hamill continued: "That's what the challenge is, is to try and meet expectations of what you guys want. I think there's nothing wrong with CGI, but I think you have to have a balance, because the camera perceives the width and the depth and the weight - even if it's a miniature model, the camera just realizes that. So when you have too much CGI and the clouds are CGI and the trees are CGI and the buildings are CGI, you're getting to a point where the figure in the shot is like a hybrid of an animated film and live-action. And I want it to have an organic look so that we don't get into Roger Rabbit territory."

When an audience member declared that he'd like to see Luke Skywalker as a Jedi Master more in the style of Yoda and Obi Wan, Hamill wholeheartedly agreed, saying he'd like to see a Luke "heavy on the Jedi mind tricks, less on the lightsaber duels. That one in 'Empire' nearly killed me!"

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He also spoke about the first meeting with George Lucas, in which he and Carrie Fisher were first informed that new films were to be made.

"We were trying to figure out, 'What's he going to talk about?'" wondered the star. "Wait a second, I think he's going to release these in 3D. Maybe he's going to ask us to do publicity or something.' We just had no idea. But my wife said, 'What if he says, 'We're going to do more movies'?' I said, 'Yeah, right!'

"It wasn't even on the radar for me, at all. And I had sort of settled into my elderly recluse phase of my career."

His talk was reported by IGN, where further quotes can be found.

How do you feel about the use of CGI in future 'Star Wars' films? Do you agree with Mark Hamill's philosophy? Let us know in the comments below...