Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Mark Hamill has clarified his playful comments about being 'out of a job' when Star Wars: Episode VIII finishes Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/YouTube

Luke Skywalker fans were up in arms earlier this week when actor Mark Hamill joked that after Star Wars: Episode VIII was finished he'd be "out of work," and many subsequently assumed that that meant that his character could meet his untimely end in the eagerly-anticipated sci-fi sequel. Now however, the 64-year-old has taken to Twitter to clear things up, stating that he only meant that "#Ep8 is wrapping soon" and not anything more mysterious than that.

According to a fan of Hamill's, who he later retweeted from his social media account, during the non-profit gala, Hamill interviewed The Kinks' Ray Davies on stage and touched upon the subject of some unseen documentary footage. The footage has apparently never surfaced because Davies never finished compiling it all together and being a long-time fan of the band The Kinks, Hamill then got excited and offered to help the musician to get the vintage clips ready to be seen. Davies playfully responded by asking whether the American actor could edit, to which he replied: "Yes, and once I'm finished with VIII, I'm out of a job, so..."

The photographer fan, who seems to have attended The Big Issue event, also went on to argue: "We know [Hamill] does have work planned for after VIII regardless of Luke's fate including Pop Culture Quest and The Flash. So unless we're assuming he's going to die in all of those too, it seems likely he was just messing about."

Hamill's flippant comment certainly sounds like a joke to us but of course, the rumours were quickly picked up by international news publications and speculation spread. You can't really blame lovers of the original characters for being worried however. Star Wars: The Force Awakens saw Harrison Ford's Han Solo die at the hands of antagonist [and his son] Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), which certainly proves that Disney and Lucasfilm aren't opposed to offing the series' long-standing heroes.

Directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently slated to reach both US and UK cinemas on 15 December 2017. Other returning cast members as well as Hamill include Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis, who lent his voice to CGI baddie Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke.