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Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamil chat on set
During the 1982 filming of “Return of the Jedi” at the Imperial Sand Dunes, actors Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were both concerned with the direction their careers would take after the final film in the original trilogy was released.
“I am largely associated with this, so I think people expect me to be kind of like (Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan),” Fisher told The Yuma Daily Sun during an interview in 1982.
Even if Fisher was hard-pressed to free herself from the role that made her iconic, Fisher became a successful writer, and has made numerous appearances over the years in television shows and movies.
Several efforts were made by the Yuma Sun to contact Fisher for comment on this story, but she did not respond in time for publication.
By the time filming began on “Return of the Jedi,” Hamill wanted to shake the persona of Luke Skywalker, and expressed concern about the possibility of not being considered for serious roles in other movies.
“As an actor, yes, it worries me very, very much that they think of me as Luke instead of Mark,” he told The Yuma Daily Sun during a break from filming in 1982. “But if you have to have one thing to be remembered by, it may as well be this.”
Hamill speculated at the time he would disappear from the limelight for a while following the completion of “Return of the Jedi.”
“I may drop out of sight for a while, I think I've invested wisely enough to do that,” he said, noting he would enjoy performing theater.
“I'd like to do a play. To me, film has been a diversion for why I got into this business. I don't need an editor on stage and I also don't have to wait 18 months for a response. If the audience cheers when I do this or that, it's really for Luke, not for me.”
On stage “I know it's for me. If something's out there, I'd like to hit upon it. But if it's not out there, I don't really care. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with turning 30.”
Hamill, now 61, did go on to act on Broadway and starred in plays including “Amadeus,” “The Elephant Man” and “The Nerd.” He also became a prolific voice actor, especially well known for his voice role as the Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series,” its various spin-offs, and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City.
His success as the Joker led him to portray a wide variety of mostly villainous characters in television shows, movies, anime, and video games.
Several efforts were made by the Yuma Sun to contact Hamill for comment on this story, but he did not respond in time for publication.
Harrison Ford, who performed the role of Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy, was able to attain great success outside of the Star Wars universe in movies including the Indiana Jones series, “Blade Runner,” and “The Fugitive.”
When “Return of the Jedi” was being filmed, Ford had already starred in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
“Of the three of us (including Carrie Fisher), Harrison is the one who has gone on and made a success outside the series,” Hamill said. “I don't think he ever would have gotten that break if George (Lucas) hadn't realized he had that strong personality.”
Fisher was happy for Ford, even though she had a suspicion her career would not follow a similar path.
“I think that it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, and I grew up with the man, which is a lot more than a lot of people can say,” she said. “You know, If I thought ‘His trailer is bigger than mine' or ‘Why is his name ahead of mine?' then I'd get so it bothered me. I don't feel that kind of pressure. If I compete with anybody, it's with myself.”
Currently Fisher, Ford and Hamill are rumored to be in talks to reprise their iconic Star Wars roles in a new trilogy being put together following the purchase of Lucasfilm, which owns Star Wars, by Disney.