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Why Mark Hamill is playing a knight again (but not a Jedi knight)

PASADENA, Calif. – Mark Hamill is moving from the lightsabers of "Star Wars" to swordplay of medieval times.

He joins the cast of History's "Knightfall" for the second season as Talus, an antagonist for lead Tom Cullen's Landry in the Knights Templar, the mysterious Middle Ages military order. The series returns March 25.

"I’m playing, basically, the equivalent of a medieval drill sergeant," Hamill said at the Television Critics Association Sunday, "Landry is seeking redemption and wants to rejoin the Templar Knights, and I’m set against it, naturally."

Jokes Cullen: "And then we fall madly in love. It’s a great, complex relationship, and I’m absolutely thrilled to work with an actor like Mark."

Why Mark Hamill is playing a knight again (but not a Jedi knight)
Mark Hamill, seen at an event in Hollywood in January, joins the second season of History's 'Knightfall'

Hamill hadn't considered such a part; lately, he had veered more toward comedy with guest spots on "The Big Bang Theory."

Landry (Tom Cullen) on 'Knightfall.'

"I had no real intention of doing anything like that. I got hooked immediately; it was riveting, it transports you to a whole other word. I’ve never been offered anything like this before: a religious zealot, a man of deep convictions and yet a paradox. Once you become a Templar Knights you become God’s executioner. I thought, 'How could you be such a thing?' I was flattered ... I look for challenges and have never done this before."

Did Hamill see parallels with the George Lucas' "Star Wars" world? "Not until after I accepted," he said. "I didn’t really think it through. George Lucas had so many different inspirations of his own … he was probably more inspired by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, because it was more idealized than Knights of Templar."

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