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How Mark Hamill's The Last Jedi Performance Influenced Warwick Davis' Return To Willow

When "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" was released in 2017, it had been 34 years since Mark Hamill portrayed Luke Skywalker. The character is briefly seen as a newborn infant in 2005's "Revenge of the Sith," but an entire generation of "Star Wars" fans had grown up without seeing Luke on the big screen. The 1970s and 1980s "Star Wars" trilogy of films, which is the middle section of the wider saga, featured numerous actors in addition to Hamill who would go on to become household names. This even included smaller parts such as Peter Cushing's role as Wilhuff Tarkin, James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader, and many others.

Warwick Davis was one such actor who got his start in the "Star Wars" saga in 1983's "Return of the Jedi" as Ewok Wicket W. Warwick. Davis would go on to star as the title character in George Lucas' "Willow" in 1988; he revealed in an interview with The A.V. Club that the role was written way back in the early '80s with him in mind for the lead. Much like the actor who brought Luke Skywalker to life, Davis is also bringing back a character he has not played in decades in the new Disney+ TV series revival of the fantasy epic. As it turns out, his former co-star's role in "The Last Jedi" influenced how he approached his return to the role of Willow Ufgood.

Warwick Davis admired how Mark Hamill returned to Luke Skywalker from a different perspective

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "Willow" star Warwick Davis was asked his thoughts on his former "Star Wars" co-stars revisiting their characters over the years. "The one thing I took note of in particular was Mark Hamill returning to Luke Skywalker and how he went about the approach for that," he commented. "I thought he was really interesting, and it wasn't the expected approach, certainly. He came at it from quite a different angle, and I also did the same." Davis continued by highlighting the way in which both he and Hamill embraced the passage of time when returning to their famous roles. The actor stated how Hamill didn't try and play Luke as a young man, which he matched for his character.

In many ways, catching back up with Willow was similar to how director Rian Johnson chose to focus on Luke's isolation and regret in "The Last Jedi," even though Johnson and Hamill didn't agree on the characterization. With this in mind, Davis concluded by adding, "Within this series, the world that we find Willow in is a different one than we last saw him in. He's quite troubled. He's had a lot of dark experiences in his own life, so he has to take all that on. And as an actor, I have to add all of that knowledge into the character's situation and use that to reflect out in my performance."