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Mark Hamill Originally Felt That George Lucas Was 'Sort Of Intimidating'

Mark Hamill is best known to genre audiences as the crotchety criminal voice of Batman's greatest villain, the Joker — no... wait, wait. Okay, unless someone's been living under a rock, or literally visiting the planet Ilum in search of the perfectly colored Kyber Crystal to complete their own lightsaber, they're undoubtedly aware Hamill and Luke Skywalker are one in the same. And let's not forget the filmmaker responsible for creating one of the most powerful Jedi: George Lucas.

After Lucas sold the rights to his epic space opera, directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson helmed the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. The majority of critics and fans enjoyed "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens" (per Rotten Tomatoes), but "Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi" and "Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker" were divisive. Regardless, Hamill collaborated with several fine directors while starring in the saga, but back in 1977, the actor didn't have a clue about what he'd gotten himself into.

"I didn't expect it to be the smash it was, but I thought it would be popular," Hamill said during a 1988 interview printed in Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine No. 3 (via Star Wars News Net). "I remember saying to someone, 'I bet you this thing is bigger than 'Planet of the Apes [1968]'" Today, it's fair to say Hamill and Lucas' relationship fared far better than Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin's (Hayden Christensen). But Hamill and Lucas' rapport didn't begin the way fans might think.

Hamill was greatly intimidated by Lucas

Fortunately, Mark Hamill's storied "Star Wars" journey didn't end with the controversial "Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker." Rather, Luke lives on in the past courtesy of "The Mandalorian." Thanks to showrunner Jon Favreau, Luke's life continues post "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi," as Skywalker arrives in Season 2's "The Rescue" to save the day and Grogu, aka Baby Yoda. Hamill is obviously comfortable in his Jedi robes today, but in 1977 he was actually uneasy around "Star Wars" creator George Lucas.

"I wish I knew what I know about George now when I did the first 'Star Wars' because he's a very introspective fellow and can be sort of intimidating when you really don't know him," Hamill said during a 1988 interview printed in Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine No. 3 (via Star Wars News Net). "And he's really very easy going and free."

According to the same interview, Hamill's experience with the filmmaker on the original "Star Wars" set was fantastic. However, Hamill was surprised that Lucas didn't helm "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." "I had no idea when he was directing 'Star Wars' that it would be a possibility that he wouldn't direct anymore," Hamill said. In fact, when Lucas folded up his directing chair in 1977 (per IMDb), he didn't return to that galaxy far, far away until 1999's "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" 22 years later.