One of the most interesting aspects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the fact that despite the film being about finding Luke Skywalker, that character was only in one scene, and had no lines. This started a slew of internet memes and other things as Mark Hamill literally returned to have an intense stare moment and not move from a spot.
Apparently, when he was told about this, Hamill was hesitant to do it. J.J. Abrams talked at the Tribeca Film Festival about the scene:
“We knew that getting to Luke was the whole story, and I was desperate to do the next chunk that we knew would not fit into this one movie. But, we knew that we had that ending, but it was a frightening and tricky thing to do, but at first and in all honesty, Mark Hamill was a little resistant.”
“Imagine reading Star Wars, imagine being Mark Hamill and you get the script for the new Star Wars. ‘Oh the opening is good, page two, oh, three and so on – what the f**k is the going on, I’m three pages before the end, the last page, what?’ He was so kind to do it, and at first he was like, ‘Will it seem silly, will it be a joke that he is standing there?’ I said to him, ‘I don’t think it will.’ I said because the whole movie is about that, it could be a great fun drum roll, up to seeing this guy.”
It was while filming the final scene on an island off the coast of Ireland that JJ Abrams made the realisation that, “Hamill was the exact same age as Alec Guinness was when he played Obi-Wan. I’m looking at him in the robes, and with the John Williams music, I start to tear up, and I know that this ending could really work.”