Mark Hamill is suiting up once again for one of his trickiest characters. The Star Wars legend will reprise his role as flamboyant villain The Trickster during Tuesday’s episode of The Flash, a character he first brought to life in the original 1990s Flash television series.
Acting as something of a sequel to the original, Tuesday’s episode of The Flash finds The Trickster relegated to Iron Heights, serving out a life sentence for his past attempts to destroy Central City. Much to his chagrin, a new and younger Trickster (Devon Graye) seemingly plans to steal his thunder by stirring up trouble in town.
“Just the idea of being asked to play a part [again] decades later, that never happens,” deadpanned Hamill during a recent press screening.
In all seriousness, Hamill has been a fan of The CW’s version since its debut, and pondered whether the show would bring on a new Trickster as more and more characters from The Flash’s Rogues Gallery appeared on the show. “I got a call from my business people saying they want you to do something on The Flash, and I was thinking like a colleague of John Wesley Shipp’s, a professor, something age appropriate,” he said. “I’m not getting back into that one-piece jumpsuit, the spandex deal. When they said The Trickster, I just couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t figure out how that could be.
“I was very skeptical, but then I called Andrew [Kreisberg] and the one thing that impressed me about this show is how smart the writing is,” Hamill continued. “It’s got the comic book element, but it’s really strong in characters. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they had the ingenious idea of having Devon Graye play a new Trickster. All these villains have unyielding egos. It worked. When I read the script, I said, ‘Who’s this punk getting all this stuff?’ I reacted just like I was in character because he really gets to do all the fun Trickster-y things.”
Interjected Kreisberg: “This time.” That’s right: The Flash bosses are already planning for Hamill’s return as they aim towards the ultimate Rogues Gallery team-up.
“Yes, that is the plan,” Kreisberg confirmed. “What’s so fun for us and why we were so grateful to Mark for wanting to be part of this, is when I sit down and I think about Wentworth Miller and Mark in a scene together and watching the dichotomy of them. Sometimes there’s a tendency to just spit out the same villain week in and week out on these shows. [We have] people who are so different, people who have powers, people who are slightly unhinged, but geniuses.”
Getting back into the mindset of The Trickster, however, was intimidating, according to Hamill. “They asked me to do a cameo on The Neighbors, which was a series I loved,” he noted. “When they asked me to do the cameo, I said, ‘I’m going to ruin the show, for myself anyway.’ Because once you go down and you’re on the set and meet all the people, even though you know it’s not real, it’s like going to see a live recording of All in the Family or something. You’ll never see it the same way again as when you’re sitting the in the studio. I didn’t want to show up and ruin a series I liked. That’s the danger. I thought if it’s really terrible, it’s only one episode, so they can survive me. It was terribly intimidating until I got there. Once you get into the spirit of it, it’s like slipping into a comfy old pair of tennis shows.”
Having Hamill reprise his role also provided The Flash an opportunity not just to nod towards the original series—there are Easter eggs aplenty, as well as a great scene between Hamill and original Flash star Shipp—but also to Hamill’s most famed project. There is one line in particular that will get Star Wars fans giddy… but to say anything more would ruin the episode.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.