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Mark Hamill Wanted A Bigger Role For Luke In The Force Awakens

Mark Hamill wasn't happy with how small a role Luke Skywalker had in The Force Awakens. The actor revealed his pause about Luke's short, non-speaking part in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, discussing the preparation he endured to get ready for the role and talking about when he wanted his character to show up.

Luke showed up in The Force Awakens on top of a cliff on Ahch-To, where he stands wordlessly as Rey hands him the lightsaber he lost years earlier. Although the clifftop scene will resume in The Last JediThe Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams called cut after he got what he needed, leaving new director Rian Johnson the difficult task of recreating the setting, something Hamill wasn't exactly excited about. "When I read the script for Episode VIII, I went, 'Oh my God, we're going back?'" Hamill, who, at 65 years old, had to make an hour and a half hike to the top of the cliff, said. "Because I said I was never going back." 

Still, Hamill had plenty of help getting in shape for the hike and for the part, as he, like co-star Carrie Fisher, was put on a strict diet and exercise regimen for his reintroduction to the franchise. "You just cut out all the things you love," he said of his new diet. "It's really just a general awareness, because in the old days I'd go, 'Well, I'm not that hungry, but oh, here's a box of Wheat Thins,' and you don't put the Wheat Thins in the same category as Lay's potato chips, and yet I would sort of idly, absentmindedly eat these things while watching Turner Classic Movies, and 'Oh, I ate the whole box!'"

It was this preparation, which had already been going on for 50 weeks when Hamill found out about his small role, that made the actor eager to do more. Hamill said that, while he recognizes that introducing Luke at the end was a very smart decision narratively, he would have liked to come in around Han Solo's death scene, possibly contacted through telepathic communication by Leia, sensing that Han was in danger. 

"She won't succeed [in contacting Luke], and, in frustration, she'll go herself," Hamill explained. He proposed that Leia makes it as far as she can, and, just as she is apprehended, Luke bursts in to save her. They rush to find Han, but they're too late. "Then we're in the situation where all three of us are together, which is one of my favorite things in the original film, when we were on the Death Star," he said. "It's just got a fun dynamic to it." 

"The reason that's important is that we witness his death, which carries enormous personal resonance into the next picture," he continued. "As it is, Chewie's there, and how much can you get out of 'Nyaaarghhh!' and two people [Rey and Finn] who have known Han for, what, 20 minutes?" However, in the end, Hamill is willing to admit that Abrams' idea was better, saying, "As I said to J.J., 'I've never been more happy to be wrong.'" 

Luke will definitely have a bigger role in The Last Jedi, which Johnson says will show "a very different side of the Luke character." The movie is due out on Dec. 15; while we wait, see why it will blow you away.