That time Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker 16 years before The Force Awakens
The last time Mark Hamill delivered new dialogue as Luke Skywalker wasn’t in Return of the Jedi – it was in this trailer from 1999.
When Mark Hamill ends his staring contest with Daisy Ridley in Episode VIII, fans will be thrilled – finally, for the first time since 1983, we’ll hear Luke Skywalker speak!
Except that won’t actually be true.
In 1999, Hamill voiced Luke Skywalker in a trailer for Vector Prime, the first book in the New Jedi Order series of novels.
It might not have gotten quite as much attention as another little Star Wars project in 1999, but the trailer is still a fairly interesting curio.
Airing only on the Sci Fi Channel (or SyFy, as it insists on calling itself now), the trailer pushes The New Jedi Order as “the future of Star Wars”.
It features Hamill’s narration, in character as Luke Skywalker, over the top of scenes from the original trilogy designed to hit nostalgic fans right in the feels.
A post about the trailer on the official Star Wars site is still available on the Wayback Machine, but if your device of choice struggles to play the video, you’ll be pleased to know it’s also on YouTube, thanks to uploader DarthLeland66.
"I have fought the worst of all wars, and witnessed the redemption of evil. I've seen balance restored to the Force. But order can turn to chaos… as it did when I was born. Now, with my loved ones and my loyal allies, I face a new challenge unlike any before. And I'm not sure if this time we can win."
When Hamill recorded his voice-over for the second Force Awakens trailer (the "Force is strong in my family" trailer), he was merely re-recording old dialogue from Return of the Jedi to give it a ghostly effect. The narration in this trailer, on the other hand, was all new.
Somewhat bizarrely, given what a prolific voice actor Mark Hamill is and how often the character of Luke Skywalker has appeared in video games and audio books, this appears to be the only time Hamill returned to the role until JJ Abrams came calling.
But it wasn't the only time the versatile voice actor would return to play a character in the Star Wars universe before The Force Awakens — he also voiced Sith Lord Darth Bane in the final episode of The Clone Wars in 2014.
As for Vector Prime, it's now remembered less for this video and more for being the book that controversially killed Chewbacca in a bid to prove that no one was 'safe' in the Expanded Universe, not even the main characters.
Chewie's death was undone when the Expanded Universe was wiped out by Disney's nu-canon in 2015 — meaning, essentially, that Han Solo gave his life for Chewbacca, which is probably just how he would have wanted it.
Now, the waiting game for somebody to combine this narration with footage from The Force Awakens begins...