For the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) reveals never-before-seen exclusive footage in the US TODAY.
“Empire Strikes Back,” the second installment of Star Wars in the Skywalker saga, which premiered 40 years ago on Thursday, shocked moviegoers when Darth Vader told the victim, Luke, “I’m your father.” “Empire” (streaming now at Disney +) has become a favorite movie of many fans in the pop culture franchise and is loved by Hamil as a film, but also as an experience: the son of actor Nathan was born during the filming,
In George Lucas’ original Star Wars film of 1977, Luke is portrayed as “something like this naive boy and has grown into a young man with a lot of responsibility and a little more gravity,” says Hamill. He also remembers “Empire” as a “make or break” of the nascent Star Wars galaxy.
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“This one was challenging in a way that the first one wasn’t – more brainstorming, more intellectual, more spiritual. Strength has always had an element of spirituality, but it just deepens these topics and explores them, “said Hamil, 68, who called from home during the” unexpected vacation “of coronavirus quarantine. (“I’ve never forgotten which day of the week is more than the last two weeks, but I’m as good as you might expect.”)
Hamill last saw Empire in theaters in 1997, when his grown children, Nathan, were 40; Griffin, 37; and Chelsea, 31, wanted to watch Star Wars reissues. Now, with everyone in self-isolation, Hamil Zoom, FaceTimes and emails with the three. On Mother’s Day, the family hung outside Hamil’s house “more than six feet away.”
In honor of the anniversary of “Empire”, Hamil shares never-before-seen exclusive footage of the production with the USA TODAY.
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Hamill (sitting) works with make-up artists Kay Freeborn and son Graham Freeborn to make castings on his arm and head during the production of “Empire”. “Some people react negatively and get claustrophobic, but as the mold heats up, it gets very hot and I found it soothing,” says Hamill. (Photo: LUCASFILM)
Mark Hamill was happy to plaster for “Empire Retaliates”
As early as 1979, Hamil had some experience in isolation. During the filming, Hamill had thrown his hand into the plaster – as Vader cut off Luke at their lightsaber duel – and also endured an entire cast and full body matrix for other Empire series. “They had straws in your nose and you just have to arrange the zen and go outside, and it was a peaceful experience,” says Hamil. “Some people react negatively and get claustrophobic, but as the mold heats up, it warms up and I found it soothing.”
Khan and Luca received a surprise visitor to Norway
The freezing of Finse, Norway, was the location for the opening photo of the icy planet Hot, and although it was not planned to be there, Carrie Fisher showed up to hang out with colleagues Hamil and Harrison Ford. A key scene – in which Ford’s Han Solo rescues Luke (after being attacked by a nasty wampa) by stabbing him in the warm, open-cut intestines of a dead town – is filmed 200 yards from their hotel. “If you turn the cameras over from this scene, people come out on their balconies sipping cocoa and watching us,” says Hamil.
Hamil (from behind) smiles when Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford talk in the infirmary about Hot, where the infamous Luke / Leah kiss took place. “I always say it’s the best good news, the bad news joke ever,” Hamil said. “The good news is that there’s a very attractive woman in the galaxy in whom you don’t see many women at all. And the bad news is that she’s your sister.” (Photo: GEORGE WHITEAR / LUCASFILM)
In fact, it was even hotter than this Luke / Leah kiss
It was a warmer environment inside during the filming the now-famous scene at the rebel base in Hot, where Princess Fisher Leia kisses the healing Luke to slander Han. Hamill says the situation was even more steadfast in a deleted scene before the big kiss, in which Luca tries to muster the courage to “tell her how I feel about her,” and the C-3PO droid interrupts potential hunger.
“It was only pruned for a while,” says Hamil. “This is the biggest good news, the bad news joke: The good news is that there is a very attractive woman in the galaxy in whom you don’t see too many women at all. And the bad news is, she’s your sister. “
Wearing his Rebel flying suit, Mark Hamill works on a stage that includes Hot’s humorous AT-AT in “Empire Strikes Back.” Hours after his son was born, Hamil was summoned for a shot, where Luke jumped from the imperial walker. For the last time, Hamill sprained his thumb, bad enough to delay the shooting of Luke / Vader’s lightsaber duel. “It would be better if they just let me in.” (Photo: GEORGE WHITEAR / LUCASFILM)
Luca fought AT-AT the day his first son was born
Hamil married Marilu York in 1978, three months before the Empire began production, and his wife was pregnant and “really showed up there”: She stayed warm and comfortable in a Norwegian apartment while Hamil worked. They were filming in London when Nathan was born at St. John’s Hospital in Wood on June 25, 1979. “Looking back, I think, ‘Hayes, how did I do all this? “You just deal with everything they throw at you.”
He was arranging a day off when the baby came, but on his way home at dawn after birth, the weary Hamil called for a shot where Luke was fleeing, shooting a rough hook at the imperial walker, then jumping off the road. During the last take, Hamill sprained his thumb badly enough that some of Luke and Vader’s duels in the lightsaber had to be rescheduled. “It would be better if they just let me in,” he said.
Like the Force, Luke will always be with Hamil
Hamil may leave the galaxy after last year The rise of Skywalker saga-capping, but he still has Luke in his heart, who to him is as much a part of American folklore as Davey Crockett or Superman. “In the original trilogy, I had a beginning, a middle, and an end – although I told George, ‘It’s like telling the story of how James Bond got the murder license and after he became 007, you end stories,'” Hamill said.
With the new sequels, “It wasn’t really Luke’s story, but I was able to enjoy them. I never expected to see Carrie and Harrison (again on the set of Star Wars) and working with all the new people was very enjoyable. This is something that will always be a part of me and I am grateful for that. “
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