Mark Hamill Confirms Talks for New STAR WARS Film; Says Roles Won't be Re-cast if Original Actors Don't Return

Directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek), Star Wars Episode VII will be the first in a new trilogy of films for the popular franchise under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner.

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J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay. Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

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After much back and forth rumor whether original cast members of the original trilogy would be returning for the new films -- most notably the trio of Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) -- news has now come out that talks are ongoing but not definitive. Hamill offers a bit of clarity:

"They’re talking to us.. George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested [in reprising our roles]. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts -- they would write us out. I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm.

"I’m assuming that these movies would be about our offspring — like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character."

Hamill also offered his thoughts on the production design of the new films, which he hopes will return to the heavy use of practical effects of the original trilogy as apposed to the prequels:

"I hope they find the right balance of CGI with practical effects. I love props, I love models, miniatures, matte paintings -- I’m sort of old school. I think if you go too far in the direction of CGI it winds up looking like just a giant a video game, and that’s unfortunate.If they listen to me at all, it’ll be,'‘Lighten up and go retro with the way it looks.'"

Walt Disney Pictures is planning to release Star Wars Episode VII in 2015.