Star Wars star Mark Hamill says that fans of the franchise would have "come after him with torches" if he hadn't agreed to join the cast of the new trilogy.

Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, Hamill, who played farm boy turned intergalactic hero Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movies, said he felt he had no choice but to come back for the J.J Abrams helmed sequel.

He said passionate Star Wars fans would have been after him with torches if he didn't. "Look, I'm aware that a lot of people don't care one way or another but for the UPFs - the ultra passionate fans - they would come after me like angry townspeople with torches in the old Frankenstein pictures.

"I would have a lot to answer for it I didn't at least try to make the effort. It's not like I had a choice. I feel like I was called up for service be the Selective Service."

Hamill added: "I hadn't seen Tony Daniels (C3P-O) or Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford or Peter Mayhew in ages. It was wonderful to see them again, because I didn't expect to. Again, this is all so unexpected.

"It's like getting out that pair of jeans you haven't worn in five years and finding a 20 dollar bill in the pocket. Oh, this is nice."

Star Wars Episode VII is set for release in December 2015.