Fans knew that Mark Hamill would return to the Star Wars saga with an appearance in The Force Awakens, but many were disappointed that his role was nothing more than a glorified cameo. Based on the teaser for The Last Jedi, the actor will have a much more significant role in the new film, which Disney CEO Bob Iger recently praised as the actor’s “best performance.”
Hamill was inducted earlier this afternoon as a new recipient of the Disney Legends Award, an honor bestowed upon individuals who have made extraordinary and integral contributions to The Walt Disney Company. During a reception ceremony at the D23 Expo, Iger shared a few words with the audience about Hamill’s contributions to the company.
“For the diehard Star Wars fans, he certainly is revered as Luke Skywalker,” Iger said. “The world has held its breath for his return to that role since that last scene in The Force Awakens. Having seen The Last Jedi and his performance, I can tell you it’s worth the wait.”
Iger added, “This is Mark’s best performance as Luke Skywalker to date and you will see that I am right.”
The last time we got to see Hamill in a substantial role in the saga was in Return of the Jedi, which was over 30 years ago. In the decades since, Hamill has been able to hone his craft through a variety of different projects, allowing him to show a completely different side of his character in the upcoming sequel.
As a frame of reference, Sir Alec Guinness was 63 when he starred in the original film as Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Hamill now being 65 as he re-enters the world of Star Wars.
To confirm Iger’s praise, fans will have to wait until December 15, when The Last Jedi lands in theaters.