Why Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford need to return for the next Star Wars trilogy

When news broke that George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney and then new Star Wars movies were announced, fans immediately started speculating as to what the future of the franchise might look like.  We listed ten things Disney needs to do with their new acquisition and one of them was to bring back the old cast for the new films.  That was met with trepidation from fans that have memories of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher when they weren’t at their best.  So I thought I’d expand on my statement and explain why it’s essential they bring back as much of the original cast as possible.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi

I won’t list all the things wrong with the prequels, but one of their challenges was not having any recognizable characters other than C-3PO and R2-D2.  As much as I love those little droids, they weren’t enough to satisfy fans’ desires to catch up with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.  Making a sequel trilogy without them would revert back to the same issue we had with the prequel trilogy; we don’t know anyone.  Obviously, time has passed and it has to be set far enough after RETURN OF THE JEDI to accommodate their age.  And clearly, we understand that all of the characters have grown up and have changed.  That’s fine; we don’t need them to be 20 years-old anymore, we just need a natural continuity between Episode VI and Episode VII.  Having the big three involved will give us that.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer

The next question is in regards to how much they need to be in the new trilogy.  I like the idea of the three leads carrying the films again, but it’s not necessarily a requirement for the films to be enjoyable.  At the very least, having them show up as minor characters is enough.  I would assume they’ll take elements from the novels such as Leia and Han being married with kids, Luke starting the Jedi council again, Leia leading the rebuilding of the republic, etc.  All of those things can happen with the three leads playing supporting roles.

Star Wars Then and Now

Also, let’s get a little geeky for a second.  How cool would it be to see Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, wielding a lightsabre on the big screen again?  Or to see Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian bantering back and forth?  There’s a million small moments that would make these Star Wars films everything the prequels weren’t.  Their involvement would also take the pressure off of a new cast that would be expected to carry the franchise into the future.  It’s easier to pass a baton than to try and build something from scratch.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer

We don’t know much, but we do know that George Lucas met with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher over the summer, prior to making the deal.  No one will say exactly what was discussed, but I’m going to speculate that it was as much a head’s up to the stars as it was a discussion.  Doesn’t the timing of Carrie Fisher’s dramatic weight loss seem too convenient?  And is it just me, or does Mark Hamill even look thinner and more in shape than he did just a few months ago?  My guess is that Fisher and Hamill will appear in the next Star Wars films and even though Harrison Ford has said he wasn’t interested in playing Han Solo again (and then recently said he’d be open to it), I’d bet a dollar he’ll do it anyway.  Either way, we have a fun two and a half years ahead of us as we speculate on what’s going to happen with Star Wars.

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