Mark Hamill said he pitched his idea to J.J. Abrams when they were making Episode VII, The Force Awakens, as an alternate way for Luke to make a surprise late-in-the-film appearance while still managing to get the OG gang together again.
So Mark Hamill told THR what he had previously pitched to The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams:
Well, you’ll get no argument from me. J.J. Abrams has already taken heat for The Force Awakens showing Leia hug Rey after Han’s death instead of Han’s other BFF Chewbacca. ‘Cause it’s true, Rey barely knew Han Solo. It would’ve had more impact to see Luke, Leia, and Chewie’s emotional reactions. Abrams has shared regrets about the blocking of that particular scene, since it did come across as “a slight” to Chewie, which was not intended.
So it sounds like Mark Hamill had issues with both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, since he has also been candid with his frustration on the direction of Luke’s storyline in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Even if Episode IX somehow cobbles a Skywalker reunion together, it’s too late for it to have the same kind of impact it could’ve had in The Force Awakens. Han Solo was killed by his son Ben/Kylo in The Force Awakens, Luke died in The Last Jedi, and Leia actress Carrie Fisher died in real life. Luke is still returning somehow in The Rise of Skywalker — perhaps the title is a hint there — and Leia will be shown in previously unused footage. But Star Wars lost its chance to get the original trio back.
Mark Hamill recently posted a photo hugging Harrison Ford, showing his own version of a Luke/Han reunion. He’s really laying it on thick, but the frustration is shared by fans. That said, unlike Hamill, we as fans don’t know what The Rise of Skywalker has in store in terms of Skywalker family reunions. The teaser trailer already showed Carrie Fisher’s Leia in another mid-hug moment, but maybe we can hope for even more from J.J. Abrams, who has learned from his experience on The Force Awakens.