Luke Skywalker himself has confirmed what we all knew anyway: Lucasfilm is in talks with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to return for Star Wars Episode VII. Talking to Entertainment Tonight, Hamill said:
"George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."
This is interesting to me because I know that these talks are a little farther along than Hamill makes them sound. I know that large sums of money have already been dangled in front of the actors. What makes my ears perk up is the idea that Han, Luke or Leia could be written out of the story if the actor doesn't want to return; that indicates the roles will be fairly small, or at least not central to the film's story. But with that in mind and with the amount of money they're being offered, I would be shocked if any of them didn't come back (Latino-Review has claimed that Ford's return is an all-but done deal).
I like the idea that they'll just write the characters out rather than replace them. One of my problems with the proposed solo Han Solo movie is that Han is only Han when he's Harrison Ford. These three characters are, for my money, inextricably linked to the three actors. If you can't get those actors, just have the characters respectfully removed from the saga.
Hamill claims to not know the story of the movie yet, but he's making the same assumption about it that everybody else is: it'll be about the next generation.
"I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring -- like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character... When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there's a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she's your sister – I thought, 'Well, I'm going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I'm going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.'"
That's where I've always pictured Luke. In the Expanded Universe he got married to Mara Jade, but that always felt like fanservice to me. Luke's married to the Force.