Mark Hamill beat Kurt Russell to Star Wars role thanks to George Lucas’ wife

Mark Hamill has George Lucas’ first wife to thank for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, because she advised the director to cast him.The actor was asked to recount his Star Wars screen test during a recent interview at the 92nd Street Y…

Mark Hamill has George Lucas’ first wife to thank for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, because she advised the director to cast him.

The actor was asked to recount his Star Wars screen test during a recent interview at the 92nd Street Y in New York and confessed he has since found out that he, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were up against another trio, led by Kurt Russell, as Lucas was making his final decision about who to cast in the now-iconic sci-fi fantasy movies.

“There were two sets of Princess, Pirate and Farmboy – Harrison, Carrie and me, and the other group of actors, and when George went to London to start filming he hadn’t yet chosen and Marcia Lucas later told me, ‘I was the one who recommended your group’. So I have to thank Marcia for that,” he explained.

Hamill has since seen the audition tapes that featured as extras on a Star Wars DVD and he’s amazed he got the role of Skywalker.

“I watched William Katt just oozing with charisma, Kurt Russell, Robby Benson was boyish and young; and they all would’ve been perfect for Luke. Kurt Russell was even edging toward Hans Solo, which he could’ve played,” he praised. “I don’t know why they picked me out of everybody else.”

Back in 2017, Russell opened up about missing out on the role of Han Solo.

“I was actually pretty (close), in the final running,” the 68-year-old told USA Today, adding that he was also being considered for a starring role in a Western TV show on U.S. network ABC. “I asked George, ‘Do you think you’re gonna use me?’ He said, ‘I don’t know if I want to put you with him, or those two guys together.’ I got to go to work, so I did the western. Clearly, made the right choice.”

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Daisy Ridley discusses Carrie Fisher’s ‘really sad’ final scenes in The Rise of Skywalker

Daisy Ridley has warned Star Wars fans that Carrie Fisher’s final scenes in The Rise of Skywalker are “really sad”.The 60-year-old actress, who played Princess/General Leia Organa in the sci-fi franchise, passed away unexpectedly in December 2016 after…

Daisy Ridley has warned Star Wars fans that Carrie Fisher’s final scenes in The Rise of Skywalker are “really sad”.

The 60-year-old actress, who played Princess/General Leia Organa in the sci-fi franchise, passed away unexpectedly in December 2016 after suffering a cardiac arrest onboard a flight from London to Los Angeles.

In order for her character to appear in the third and final movie in the current trilogy, director J.J. Abrams was handed the task of using old footage of Carrie from 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi.

Still mourning the death of her friend and co-star, Daisy then had to reshoot scenes that included old footage of Carrie so that the story could continue, despite the death of the Star Wars icon.

“It was definitely difficult,” the 27-year-old told GQ magazine. “It was emotional doing it, because you’re also weirdly picturing her. You’re not picturing how the scene is going to be.”

“It’s really sad,” Daisy lamented. “And it’s going to be really sad, but also, it’s amazing that they have all this footage that is woven into the story in such a strange way.”

The British star also revealed that she never discussed Carrie’s death with some of her co-stars, including Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker.

“I would never presume. Mark’s known her for 40 years,” Daisy said, becoming emotional as she revealed she had spoken to Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, who plays Lieutenant Connix. “I had a conversation with Billie about it. I just wanted to ask Billie how she was doing.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas from 18 December.

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Carrie Fisher knew J.J. Abrams would direct another Star Wars film

Carrie Fisher predicted J.J. Abrams would direct another Star Wars film before he got the job on The Rise of Skywalker. The actress reprised her role as Princess Leia when the sci-fi franchise was revived in 2015 with The Force Awakens, which was dire…

Carrie Fisher predicted J.J. Abrams would direct another Star Wars film before he got the job on The Rise of Skywalker.

The actress reprised her role as Princess Leia when the sci-fi franchise was revived in 2015 with The Force Awakens, which was directed by Abrams, but she passed away before the release of her next outing as Leia in 2017’s The Last Jedi, helmed by Rian Johnson.

Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was slated to direct the third and final instalment in the new trilogy, but after he departed the project, Abrams was drafted in as his replacement, and it appears Fisher predicted that would happen in her final memoir The Princess Diarist, which was published just weeks before she died in December 2016 at the age of 60.

“I wasn’t supposed to work on this film, and she passed away before The Last Jedi was released,” Abrams said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “She wrote this autobiography The Princess Diarist… She thanks me at the very end and says, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to direct Episode IX. It was a very Carrie thing to write something like that and to somehow know. It was really strange.”

In the interview, the Star Trek director said it would have been “impossible” to conclude the trilogy without Leia and they didn’t want to digitally recreate her or recast the role, so they used old footage from The Force Awakens.

“Every time you’re seeing scenes with Leia and characters, it’s Carrie in this movie, and I still can’t quite believe that she’s gone, because we’ve been working on these scenes in editorial and she’s as there as anyone, it’s really uncanny,” he stated.

The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas from 18 December.

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Cindy Crawford shares epic celebrity photo from 2003

Cindy Crawford has shared an epic celebrity throwback photo on social media, with the snap featuring the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Gabrielle Union.The supermodel posted the star-studded image on Instagram in honour of the popular hashtag #WCW, whic…

Cindy Crawford has shared an epic celebrity throwback photo on social media, with the snap featuring the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Gabrielle Union.

The supermodel posted the star-studded image on Instagram in honour of the popular hashtag #WCW, which stands for Woman Crush Wednesday.

Actresses Aniston, Union, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Deidre Hall, Allison Janney, Fran Drescher, models Amber Valletta, Rachel Hunter, and TV host Nancy O’Dell all feature in the picture taken in 2003.

And eagle-eyed fans even spotted the late Carrie Fisher and her daughter Billie Lourd in the 16-person photo, which fans of Cindy said was the best celebrity group photo since Ellen DeGeneres’s record-breaking Oscars selfie in 2014.

“That’s a lot of girl power in one photo. #WCW,” the 53-year-old model wrote in the caption.

While followers speculated about the exact event the women were at – with one even suggesting it was Hunter’s wedding to Rod Stewart in 1990 as the model is wearing a white strapless dress – it was, in fact, a charity fashion show which raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to editors at People.com.

The women walked the catwalk as attendees placed bids on luxury items including five-star trips to Paris, Greece, and New York.

“OMGGGGGG!! That felt like 5 min ago!!!” Union commented on the snap, while So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley wrote: “Good lord! Now that’s a gang!”

Since the photo was taken, beloved Star Wars icon Fisher has passed away. She died following a stroke in December 2016.

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Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd will appear together in new Star Wars film

Billie Lourd will appear in scenes with her late mother Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.Director J.J. Abrams has utilised unreleased footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to incorporate the much much-loved actress’ characte…

Billie Lourd will appear in scenes with her late mother Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Director J.J. Abrams has utilised unreleased footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to incorporate the much much-loved actress’ character General Leia Organa into the third movie in the franchise’s sequel saga, following her unexpected death in December 2016.

But while the filmmaker deliberately wrote the screenplay so Lourd, who plays Resistance member Lieutenant Connix in the trilogy, wouldn’t have to star alongside an edited version of her mother, the 26-year-old had other ideas.

“I purposely had written her character in scenes without Carrie, because I just didn’t want it to be uncomfortable for her,” he told Vanity Fair. “(She said), ‘I want to be in scenes with her. I want it for my children when I have kids. I want them to see.'”

And Lourd was understandably emotional while shooting scenes that would later feature her mother.

“She would get emotional and sort of have to excuse herself for a minute. I know it was hard for her for a while,” the director added.

Abrams also addressed the not-so-well-received digital version of a younger Princess Leia, who appeared in the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, and insisted their technological trickery to bring Fisher to life is down to editing and reshoots.

“It’s not quite a magic trick; it’s sort of more of a trick of editing. There is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know. Classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would,” he explained.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to be released in December.

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Oscar Isaac happy Carrie Fisher ‘doesn’t fade away’ in Star Wars: Episode IX

Oscar Isaac thinks it’s right that unused footage will help Carrie Fisher be involved in Star Wars: Episode IX. The 40-year-old, who plays hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, revealed that the latest instalment of the sci-fi saga will continue to explore his c…

Oscar Isaac thinks it’s right that unused footage will help Carrie Fisher be involved in Star Wars: Episode IX.

The 40-year-old, who plays hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, revealed that the latest instalment of the sci-fi saga will continue to explore his character’s bond with General Leia Organa through scrapped scenes he shot with the late actress.

Director J.J. Abrams confirmed that he planned to use the footage to conclude Leia’s story after Fisher died unexpectedly in December 2016.

In a new interview with Sirius XM Insight’s John Fugelsang, Isaac revealed that the link between the characters is a part of the new story in Episode IX.

And the Triple Frontier actor said he understood why Abrams wanted to focus on that storyline.

“I wasn’t surprised because I remember we were doing that, we worked a lot,” Isaac explained. “(Fisher) and I worked together so much. We would talk about the scenes, and we got very tight during the shooting of that.

“So it was a beautiful thing to see, and it gets carried over into the new film as well,” he added.

Resurrecting old scenes for a new film is rare, but Isaac said he hopes it will give Star Wars fans closure, and will do justice to Fisher’s iconic character.

“It was definitely an unusual thing, but I also think it was right to engage with her character, and not just let it be something that fades away,” he said, adding that the highly-anticipated movie will give Fisher and Leia “a proper place of honour.”

Star Wars: Episode IX will beginning hitting movie screens on 19 December.

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Carrie Fisher’s brother ‘thrilled’ at her posthumous Star Wars: Episode IX return

Carrie Fisher’s brother has applauded filmmaker J.J. Abrams for ensuring the actress’ posthumous return to the big screen in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. Bosses at Disney and Lucasfilm shared the news of Princess Leia Organa’s inclusion in the …

Carrie Fisher’s brother has applauded filmmaker J.J. Abrams for ensuring the actress’ posthumous return to the big screen in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX.

Bosses at Disney and Lucasfilm shared the news of Princess Leia Organa’s inclusion in the next instalment of the hugely popular sci-fi series on Friday (27Jul18), when Abrams explained he would be piecing together unused clips from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which he also directed, to resurrect Carrie’s iconic character for the sequel to 2017’s The Last Jedi.

“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us,” he shared in a statement issued to Variety. “We were never going to recast, or use a CG (computer-generated) character.

“With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie (Lourd), we have found a way to honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

The news has been well-received by fans online, and Carrie’s brother, Todd Fisher, has given the idea his stamp of approval, after previously claiming Leia would feature in the next blockbuster – a notion nixed by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy back in April (18).

“I couldn’t be more personally thrilled and happy that our Carrie will reprise her role as Princess Leia in the new and final Star Wars Episode IX, using previously unreleased footage of her shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” he declared.

“As we, her family, as well as her extended family of fans around the world so believe, Carrie’s ‘Princess Leia’ is forever entrenched in the franchise and her indelible presence is fundamental to the film,” Todd continued.

“J.J. Abrams understood Carrie’s iconic role, and he has masterfully re-crafted this final entry to include this unused and very last footage of Carrie ever taken, without resorting to CGI (computer-generated imagery) or animatronics.

“Our family and her fans will look forward with great anticipation for this one!”

Carrie’s Leia isn’t the only key character set to appear in Episode IX – her old co-star Mark Hamill will be reprising his role as Luke Skywalker for another Star Wars adventure, even though he appeared to have been killed off in The Last Jedi, while Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in the original trilogy, has also been invited back into the fold, too..

Commenting on the news, Hamill tweeted, “It’s bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable.

“I’m finding solace in the fact that she won’t BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.”

He added, “It’s finally fine to admit #ImInIX-Billy Dee @realbdw too-which is long overdue (No one’s ever really gone).”

“Now only 17 months of ‘no comment’s (sic) when asked about it to avoid revealing details or fueling speculation #SeeYouAroundKids,” Hamill quipped.

They will join Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, and Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, in Episode IX, which was co-written by filmmaker Abrams and Chris Terrio.

Actors Keri Russell and Richard E. Grant have also been confirmed as cast newcomers ahead of the movie’s December, 2019 release.

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Star Wars fans keen for Meryl Streep to replace Carrie Fisher as Leia

Star Wars fans want Meryl Streep to replace Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Fisher died at the end of 2016, after completing the latest movie in the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and devotees now fear her character will be killed off in t…

Star Wars fans want Meryl Streep to replace Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa.

Fisher died at the end of 2016, after completing the latest movie in the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and devotees now fear her character will be killed off in the next sequel, Episode IX.

But one fan has launched a petition to encourage filmmakers to simply replace the actress – and he wants Streep to take over as Leia.

Over 10,000 people have signed the online petition by the devotee who believes that the former Princess Leia shouldn’t be written out of the film series.

“As the fans of STAR WARS and Carrie Fisher, we really want Leia to shine in Episode IX and we certainly do not want her to be written out of the film abruptly without a reasonable plot,” the petition states. “Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia.”

Streep would perhaps have been Fisher’s choice to carry on the Leia legend – the actresses were good friends and Meryl portrayed Suzanne Vale in the 1990 film adaptation of Carrie’s book, Postcards From the Edge.

Many fans believe Vale was based on Fisher herself.

The news of the petition comes almost four months after The Last Jedi opened in theatres, featuring a special dedication to the tragic actress. The end credits included a note to “Our Princess Carrie Fisher”.

Director Rian Johnson had also dedicated the Hollywood premiere of the movie to Carrie.

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