It may feel like a long way away, but in a sense, Star Wars 8 is just around the corner. There are a ton of reasons to be excited about the movie, but easily the biggest reason is getting to see Luke Skywalker in action, or at the very least actually saying a line or two of dialogue. As if we weren't already excited enough, J.J. Abrams has just further fueled the fired by saying that Mark Hamill's performance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is potentially Oscar-worthy.

The director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was recently in attendance at Oscar Wilde Awards in L.A., which is intended to support the U.S. Ireland Alliance. NY Daily News caught up with J.J. Abrams at the event and even though he isn't directing this time around, the subject of Star Wars: The Last Jedi came up. Here is what he had to say about it.

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"I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark."

That may be a bit of hyperbole, but it also isn't out of the realm of possibility. Back when the first Star Wars came out, Alec Guinness was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mark Hamill is certainly a great actor and since he had very little screen time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (not to mention that he didn't say a single world), there will be a surely meaty role for him this time around. Either way, it is clear that J.J. Abrams isn't afraid to hype up the movie at this point. Afterall, he did say that he was sad he didn't return to direct after he read the script for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is really saying something.

Outside of getting to see Luke Skywalker get some significant screen time for the first time since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, there are quite a lot of other things to look forward to in Star Wars 8. For one, we may be learning who Rey's parents are, or at least we will be getting some clues. Also, as sad as it may be, this will be the last time we ever get to see Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. As for when we will get to see some footage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it looks like Disney and Lucasfilm are going to unveil the first teaser during Star Wars Celebration, which takes place this April in Florida.

We still have to wait until much later in the year to see if J.J. Abrams is just blowing smoke or if Mark Hamill could be hearing the words, "and the Oscar goes to" next year, but his statement is encouraging. The cast for Star Wars Episode VIII includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'O and Mark Hamill. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and is set for release on December 15.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott