On the screen as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Mark Hamill is a fearless Jedi courageously fighting against the forces of the dark side. But in real life, it turns out, Hamill is a big ol’ scaredy cat.
In an interview with the New York Times, Hamill admitted that he was downright terrified about reprising his classic role in a new trilogy of Star Wars movies beginning with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though co-star Carrie Fisher had no fears.
“I was completely stunned,” Hamill said of the original cast being offered the chance to play Skywalker, Pricness Leia, and Han Solo again. “Carrie, not a minute went by — she slapped the table and goes, ‘I’m in!’ I said, ‘Carrie, poker face!'”
“I was just really scared,” Hamill continued. “I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote. No one wants to see the 50-, 60-, 70-year-old versions of us, running around, bumping heads on the Death Star. It’s sad.”
Hamill wasn’t just afraid of how fans would receive his performance, especially after the widely hated Star Wars prequel trilogy. He was also afraid to say that he was afraid. Instead, he hoped to hide behind co-star Harrison Ford’s stubbornness. Hamill assumed that Ford would say no, but once Ford agreed to appear, Hamill was left with no choice. “Can you imagine if I was the only one to say no? I’d be the most hated man in nerd-dom.”
Ultimately, though Hamill apparently lives in a constant state of terror, he’s glad to be a part of one of the greatest geek franchises of all time.
“I’m such a fraud,” Hamill said during the interview. “But I’m enjoying all the residual attention that the movie’s getting. I should be, by all rights, puttering in my garden with a metal detector, telling kids to get off my lawn. What’s not to love?”
Read the full interview at the New York Times. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to hit theaters on December 15. After that, Hamill will only have to overcome his fears one last time to play Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IX… well, if his character survives The Last Jedi, that is.