Story by Isaac Hears
The year was 1976. Director George Lucas was filming in location in the middle of the Tunisia desert, with a young unknown actor named Mark Hamill. It was the beginning of the Star Wars trilogies that was originally planned by Lucas as not 3, but 4 installments. During filming, Lucas suggested Hamill could have a cameo role in Episode IX, which might be filmed in 20 to 30 years in the future. A March 1978 Time magazine story, confirmed Lucas also contained the assertion there would be 10 further Star Wars films after the 1983’s The Empire Strikes Back.
Lucas: “So, I took the original screenplay and divided it into three stories, and rewrote the first one. Then, I had the other two films, which were essentially split into three parts each, two trilogies. When the smoke cleared, I said, ‘This is really great. I’ll do another trilogy that takes place after this.’ I had three trilogies of nine films.
At a press conference back in 2004, Mark Hamill confirmed during the filming of Star Wars that Lucas approached him about the possibility of Jedi Luke Skywalker extending his adventures by becoming an Obi Won type wise Jedi, and teaching the next generation of Jedi warriors.
Hamell: “He talked about doing a VII, VIII, IX,” Hamill began. “You know when I first did this, it was four trilogies. 12 movies! And out on the desert, any time between setups… lots of free time. And George was talking about this whole thing. I said, ‘Why are you starting with IV, V and VI? It’s crazy.’ Lucas asked, how’d you like to be in Episode IX?’ Remember this is 1976. ‘When is that going to be?’ Lucas replied around ‘2011’. So I did the math and figured out how old I’d be. I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘You’ll just be like a cameo. You’ll be like Obi-Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope. So I went, ‘Sure.’ But I thought he just realized that he’s going to be doing this for the rest of his life and he’d rather not do that.”
As far as predictions can go, Lucas was pretty much right on target, predicting Mark Hamill becoming an Obi-Wan character type. So much so, Hamill even had to sign in his contract to grow a wookiee beard, in order for him to appear in this years 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It looks like Obi Won should of told Luke, “Remember, the Beard will be with you, always”.