Star Wars star Mark Hamill discusses recasting Luke and Leia

An endless universe of Star Wars films is flying our way, but would filmmakers ever hire other actors to play the iconic twins?

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Carrie Fisher will always be Princess Leia and Mark Hamill is forever Luke Skywalker, but the Star Wars films are moving on. 


Recast Princess Leia now that Carrie Fisher is gone? Audition another actor to play Luke Skywalker in his younger days? Those decisions might sound like heresy to Star Wars fans, but Mark Hamill , who's played Luke since 1977, is open to discussion.

Hamill, 66, has been vocal about not expecting Luke's story to play out as it has, even though his bizarre hopes for Luke involve a nudist colony on Tatooine.  But in a recent interview, he approved of Luke being digitally re-created for future movies, as Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin was in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

"Well, already I told my family, 'Absolutely -- thumbs up!'" Hamill told Radio Times. "It is a question of propriety really," he said, noting that Cushing's estate granted permission for the Rogue One appearance.

And even though Hamill is still with us, he is open to a new young Luke coming to the expanding Star Wars universe, in the same way Alden Ehrenreich plays a young Han Solo in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.

"George (Lucas) gave (filmmakers) a canvas so large ... I mean, the possibilities are infinite," he said. "They also ask me 'What young actor do you think could play him?' Sky's the limit."

He's less willing to see the late Fisher recast, despite a fan petition urging Disney to give Meryl Streep the role.

"I think it would be tough recasting Carrie because she is so indelibly linked to that character," he told Collider.

In Rogue One, in addition to re-creating Cushing's image, filmmakers used shots of Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila as well as images of Fisher and some computer magic to create a brief scene of a young Leia.

Star Wars Episode 9 is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2019.

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