Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Mark Hamill, iconic star of the beloved Star Wars franchise, has never been one to mince words when it comes to promoting the current crop of space-fantasy films. As Luke Skywalker, Hamill was kind of grandfathered in when Disney gobbled up the rights to the franchise and its many, many branches, so he’s got a little more latitude to speak freely than the younger cast members who have signed multi-picture deals (which presumably include an ironclad secrecy stipulation that promises the penalty of death should it be violated). Even now, despite the fact that Luke has gone the way of his forebears, Hamill still has free rein to comment on the behind-the-scenes operation of the upcoming and untitled Star Wars: Episode IX as he sees fit.
In a chat with EW, as an adjacent conversation to their coverage of Hamill’s current project Knightfall, the actor not only commented on his voiceover work for the upcoming film, he also teased a bigger part to play:
“I still have to go over and do [Episode IX]. Most of the parts I have coming up beside Star Wars are voiceover — there’s one big one, very high profile, I can’t announce now, that I’m really excited about
Before he got too carried away, he diverted to a rundown of the increased secrecy and security surrounding the new film’s script, especially compared to his experience on the first film back in the late 1970s:
“You know how it is these days, every time you sign NDAs. I remember back when I read the first Star Wars [script], I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the goofiest thing I’ve ever read.’ I gave it to my best friend to read, and I said, ‘What do you think of it?’ He said, ‘It’s really wild, it’s crazy, can I give it to Meredith?’ ‘Sure, go ahead.’ It went around to all my friends. Of course back then nobody cared. Nowadays it’s like working for some secret deep state government organization, like being in the CIA. They’re going to send rewrites over to Prague on this dark red paper that gives you a headache to read.”
The dark red paper in question is a tactic previously used by J.J. Abrams‘ last go-round for the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It seems Abrams is pulling the idea out of his bag of tricks once more since it makes photocopying the pages essentially useless. (Though who photocopies anything anymore when you can just snap a high-resolution picture with your pocket computer?) Even so, on The Last Jedi, Hamill was at least allowed to keep a paper copy of the script handy:
“They wound up letting me keep a script when we were doing [The Last Jedi], but I had to lock it up in a safe every night and then carry it with me and never let it out of my sight. And I can understand why — if [a script] gets out it ruins it for everyone.”
Not so much for the upcoming untitled trilogy capper:
“They’re going to fly [the rewrites] over with somebody from the company. They’re going to come and give it to me and wait for me to read it before I give it back. So no pressure! You can’t even keep it overnight. But that’s the way it is now.”
So far, Hamill has spent about a week doing work for Star Wars: Episode IX and plans to return as needed during his time shooting Knightfall. The History series is set to return with a Season 2 premiere in 2019. Star Wars: Episode IX, which should get a title in the months ahead (please not Star Wars: Endgame…) opens December 20, 2019.