Star Wars poobah George Lucas has told Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Devin Leonard that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are pretty much locked down for cameos or supporting roles in JJ Abrams‘ Star Wars, Episode VII, which will come out in 2015.
I’m cool with Ford, who turns 71 on July 13th, returning as a grizzled and sinewy Han Solo, but do we really want the people in the above photos (Hamill’s pic was taken in 2010, Fisher’s in 2009) messing with cherished memories of the eternally young Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia? Isn’t it better to leave the past alone and…you know, let sleeping dogs lie? I really, really don’t want to see jowly Hamill fighting anyone with a light sabre, and the thought of a plus-sized Fisher wearing Princess Leia outfits…wow.
I’m sure all three will soon be hitting the gym and sticking with a jello, coffee, apples and navel orange diet but there’s only so much you can do with the “lived-in” faces that Hamill and Fisher have acquired. In the words of Dr. Heywood Floyd in 2001: A Space Odyssey, there’s a serious potential for “cultural shock and disorientation” should they try to re-inhabit characters they first played 36 or 37 years ago.
Remember how James Cagney looked in Public Enemy in 1931? And how he looked 37 years later when he made Never Steal Anything Small?
The way to bring Luke and Leia back for Episode VII (seriously) is to announce that they were killed by Imperial forces many years ago, but that their spirits are with us like Alec Guinness‘s Obi-Wan Kenobi was a character of sorts in The Empire Strikes Back (’80). And then digitally replicate their bodies from Star Wars, Empire and Return of the Jedi footage and give them new things to do, and then get Hamill and Fisher to simply “voice” them. Spectral holograms of a talking Han and Leia would totally work. Plus the fans would be enormously grateful to Abrams for not having subjected them to a lesson in the ravagings of age.
“We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison — or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation,” Lucas told Leonard. “So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-dee-doo, but we were negotiating with them. I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”