Luke Skywalker himself helped send Star Wars Celebration off in style.
Mark Hamill has spent days at Celebration speaking with fans, teasing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and delivering a funny and emotional tribute to his late co-star Carrie Fisher.
So it was only appropriate that on Sunday he told an endearing story about one of his many real-life adventures with Fisher. They were hanging around the studio lot after filming 1977’s Star Wars and he met her for lunch in Westwood.
(See his panel above by scrolling about halfway through the live feed. Apologies, it’s not possible to give an exact time as it’s currently still streaming.)
They walked by a movie theater, and Fisher told him that the trailer for Star Wars was playing in there. Neither had seen it, and Fisher told her co-star to ask the manager if they could be let in just to watch the trailer.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ ” Hamill recalled. “She said, ‘Well you’ve been on television for seven years. You’ve been on all these TV movies.”
He went to the woman working at the box-office and explained he and Fisher were two of the actors in a movie trailer being shown there. She rather reluctantly got the manager, who agreed to let them in to see the trailer.
“We went in and we watched it. It was so early they didn’t have John Williams’ score. They didn’t have very many special effects finished at all. A couple of shots of TIE Fighters I think,” said Hamill. “It made a real impression on me because we hadn’t seen any of the footage.”
Hamill recalled the trailer wasn’t totally embraced by the audience at the screening.
“At the end of the trailer, it said, ‘A billion light years in the making. And it’s coming to your galaxy this summer.’ Big explosion. And somebody in the balcony yelled out, ‘Yeah, and it’s coming to the late show about two weeks after that,’ ” said Hamill. “Nobody enjoys a well-placed, snarky remark more than I do. So we both laughed, but after we laughed, we kind of went, ‘uh oh.’ “
Here’s the trailer:
Earlier in the panel, the star said it’s nice to be back as Luke on the big-screen, because he’s spent years meeting young children who have no concept of time and don’t realize Star Wars was made decades ago — and those kids are shocked by how he looks today.
“Their parents, who were young children when the movies came out, would get very excited and push them toward me … ‘look who it is! It’s Luke Skywalker!’ And you look at these five and six-year-old kids, just horror stricken. ‘Oh my god! What happened to this guy? He really let himself go,’ ” said Hamill. “To have us come back, show that the aging process is natural, makes me less self-conscious.”
Hamill also spoke of shooting 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope and asking creator George Lucas if he could tweak the lines. Lucas would say no, but Hamill noticed Harrison Ford ad-libbed and wouldn’t get rebuked for it. Why was it?
“He [Ford] said, ‘Look, don’t ask. Just do it. He’s got so many things on his mind. A: he might not notice, and B: he might like it better if he sees it in performance,’ ” Hamill recalls Ford saying.
Hamill announced his web series Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest was returning for a second season, with an expanded run-time of eight, 22-minute episodes. He also confirmed he appears in Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival, getting involved after he donated to the project’s Kickstarter and was contacted by the team.
Surrounded by fans, Hamill also spoke about his bona fides as a fan, noting he went to conventions before he knew Lucas.
“I want you to think of me as a friend, not as an internationally beloved, BAFTA winner and pop culture icon,” he joked. “I mean that in a humble way. Not in a horrible, egocentric way. Maybe a little bit.”
Mark Hamill Says ‘Star Wars’ Trailer Was Heckled First Time He Saw It – Hollywood Reporter