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The announcement that Disney have purchased LucasFilm, and are planning to make Star Wars Episode 7 sent shockwaves throughout the film community.
But it's important to remember that it's a film that's been mooted since the earliest days of the franchise.
According to Mark Hamill Lucas has been planning Star Wars Episode VII for quite a while, they dicussed it on the set of the original movie...
“He talked about doing a VII, VIII, IX. You know when I first did this, it was four trilogies. 12 movies! And out on the desert, any time between setups… lots of free time. And George was talking about this whole thing. I said, ‘Why are you starting with IV, V and VI? It’s crazy.’
"[Imitating Lucas] ‘It’s the most commercial section of the movie.’ He said the first trilogy’s darker, more serious. And the impression I got, he said, ‘Um, how’d you like to be in Episode IX?’ This is 1976. ‘When is that going to be?’ ‘2011.’
"I defy anyone to add 36 years to their lives and not be stunned. Even an eight year old is like, ‘No, I’ll never be 47.’ So I did the math and figured out how old I’d be. I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘You’ll just be like a cameo. You’ll be like Obi Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope.’
"And I’m thinking, ‘I love the guy. If he wanted me to do light yard work at his house, I’d be out clipping the hedges.’ So I went, ‘Sure.’ But I thought he just realized that he’s going to be doing it the rest of his life and he’d rather not do that.”
When the prospect of a TV series was brought up, Hamill went into outright denial. “See, the thing is, on one hand, the way I look at it is there was a beginning, a middle and an end and it’s over. Even though it’s never over. But for me it’s over. But what’ll happen is these fans will come over, ‘But you just became a Jedi. Now what happens? It’s like doing the story of how 007 got his license to kill and then not telling any stories.’
"So I said, ‘I wish my agent had this much passion.’ They really want me to do these stories. I loved it all, I really did, but I never in my mind ever thought it would be something I’d be talking about this long.”