Mark Hamill made his long awaited return to the franchise that made him a household name in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, reprising his role as Luke Skywalker for the final scene of the film. Now, Luke will play a much larger part in this year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the return to the franchise was an emotional one for the actor.
Mark Hamill opened up about his return to the Millenium Falcon in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I’m telling you, I didn’t expect to have the reaction I had," Hamill recounted. "I was there with my family, with [my children] Nathan and Griffin and Chelsea and my wife Marilou, and [Lucasfilm] asked if the documentary crew could be there when I came back on the Millennium Falcon. I mean, this was not on the shooting day. I was just street clothes and going to visit that set. And I said, ‘Sure.’”
“It was sort of like visiting an old house that you lived in when you were a kid,” Hamill added. “I mean, I just welled up with emotion and I said, ‘I need to be by myself.’ They had recreated it down to every last detail that I remember. The oil drips, the hanging pipes, just everything. The dice in the cockpit."
The emotional significance was not lost on director Rian Johnson. “God, I remember so vividly getting that shot of him turning on the lights in the Falcon cockpit,” Johnson said. “And we all kind of looked at each other, just like, ‘Oh my God.'” “There’s a lot of melancholy,” Johnson added. “You know, that ship is just filled with ghosts for Luke.”
Returning to the role that launched his career has been difficult for Hamill, emotionally. “All of this, happening to me again was… it’s hard to put into words," he said. "I figured when the prequels came out, plus a few years, people would forget about us. But it never really went away," he said. "People have these stories they tell you, you know, about how [Star Wars] helped them through hard times. Or they met their wife in line for this [movie], and were married by that one, and had a child by that one. I feel like, you know, I need to calm things down because it’s one of those things that if you start crying, I’ll start crying, so, stop it.”
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters December 15 and stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa.