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Mark Hamill Reddit AMA Q&A
Bespin refugee - January 22, 2014


What props did Mark Hamill keep from the Original Trilogy? What are his favorite movies? Who are his heroes or inspirations?
Mark took time to answer questions from fans on Reddit AMA, revealing behind the scenes tidbits from Star Wars (No secrets from Episode VII ;) ), Batman: The Animated Series, and more. Peter (Chewbacca) Mayhew even pops in for a second, lol

Here are the Star Wars related questions/comments:

Question: What did (Bantha) blue milk taste like?

Mark Hamill: It was ghastly! Since it was a prop, I wanted to matter of factly have a sip, but they used this milk that doesn't need to be refrigerated. It was sweet. It's moments like that when I think, boy, I really am a good actor since I didn't gag. I can't remember the name, it comes in these triangular cartons, it's everlasting milk or something like that. I don't know if they still make it. It's sweet and syrupy and yucky. If you want to try it go to a camping store and drop some blue food coloring in it and there you go.

Question: Older Luke Skywalker: beard or no beard?

Mark Hamill: Well based on what has gone before, I have a feeling it's beard, but I have no confirmation of that. My wife said if you grow a beard, you'll cover up your cleft chin. That's not something that occurred to me. But I can only guess. I've never read any of the novelizations or anything but someone said to me, 'you're married, you have children.' Based on Obi-Wan I would have guessed I'd be living in an igloo or something. He was more spiritual, he didn't have a wife or children. And when you find out one of the only eligible women in the galaxy is your sister, it really cuts down on your odds of hooking up with anyone. But that's not what these movies are about. The charm of the trilogy is it appeals to the child in all of us. It goes back to playing in your backyard. It's very primal, it's good versus evil, a high sense of adventure.

Question: Who has been your greatest source of inspiration?

Mark Hamill: It's hard to pick a single person. My older brother, Alec Guinness, Sam Fuller, I don't know. The minute you say one person you think I should mention Harrison, George, Gary Kurtz, the list goes on and on. I love to be inspired by even the smallest aspect of someone's personality. Maybe they have a tenacity or wisdom that I lack. To pick one is impossible.

That questions inspires me to search my soul and contemplate.

Question: What is your favorite Lightsaber Color?

Mark Hamill: I just worked with Samuel L Jackson [in The Secret Service] and he reminded me he had a purple lightsaber, which nobody had, I thought that was cool that he got his own color.

My favorite is green, I'm happy with what I had. You don't need to give me lavender or raw umber or whatever.

Question: You are going to be immortal, man. Long after all of us are dead, the image of you as Luke Skywalker will be like Superman, or Harry Potter, or Gandalf, or Jesus. Even if the films are remade, your depiction of Luke will always be a spectre over whomever is playing him.
Are you humbled by this? Terrified? Typecast? Would you rather be known as a fictional character or the person portraying him?

Mark Hamill: Great question. Well, I'm all those things. I'm certainly humbled. But's hard to really wrap one's head around. I didn't get into this business to be famous, I got in because I really like communicating. I wasn't even sure I was going to be an actor. So I look at that as Luke, not really as me. Luke is immortal and I'm just an actor who got the honor to play him.

You just have to just stay focused on what challenges you and what inspires you. And that's why I went to Broadway because I thought I'd get to explore new things. I'm not really somehow who goes back and re-watches old stuff I've done. I haven't seen any of the films since they were in the theater - originals or prequels. I thought the prequels are amazing by the way. If we were a garage band, they were a philharmonic. As George said, Star Wars is the most expensive small low movie ever made. Sorry, I think I got off on a tangent on this question.

Question: Hi Mark! Possibly stupid question: Do you find yourself at home trying to move things with the force? Example: TV remote across the room. I ask this because I have done this many times hoping it would finally move. It hasn't. Yet.

Mark Hamill:That's the thing, that's what fairy tales are made of. You wish you could do all these things, fly like Peter Pan, telekineses i think it's called.

You should always believe. Don't go through life being skeptical. One thing that makes the films distinct is how optimistic they are. The philosophy is very uplifting and very positive. it was a way to approach the subject of spirituality without knocking you over the head with it. The force could be religion, science, magic.

I love that people can make what they want of it, and that they could find courage in their life. I've heard so many stories about what a positive thing it's been for people.

Keep trying to make that remote lift, never give up. One day it will happen.

Question: Are you still upset that you weren't able to pick up those power converters?

Mark Hamill:I get ribbed for that line because it was so whiney. And I remember at the time, I had to make it as juvenile as possible so that I can show how Luke matures later. So it should be embarrassing. It should be whiney and childish. But boy, has it come back to haunt me. I don't think I ever got the chance to finally pick them up.

Question: What was your reaction when you first met Harrison Ford?

Mark Hamill: Well I'd seen him in American Graffiti, and I did the screen tests with him. We just fell into our character roles. Luke idolizes Han Solo, it was such a great role because Hans was the cynic, he was the modern role in this fairly tale. It was just the right element in the stew for all the cynics in the audience.

I just thought Harrison was fantastic, so perfect for the part. We fell into the role of mentor/student. they couldn't have made a better choice, and he can do no wrong. He's got a great sense of humor, it was fun to try to make him laugh

Question: Did you ever expect Star Wars to be such a critical success?

Mark Hamill I didn't expect it to be a critical success, I thought people would like it, because it took so many elements from movies we were familiar with, pirate, cowboy movies, war movies, and added humor. That's the thing that got me. Science fiction usually isn't funny. They have an 8 ft furry dog driving a spaceship, he's naked except headphones, that's funny. Even if it doesn't get great reviews it'll be a cult movie. People will go watch it at midnight because its so unique. I thought it would be popular but never thought it would be on the cover of Time magazine.

Question: How proud are you of the Star Wars Holiday Special? Did you know at the time of shooting it that it would turn out the way it did?

Mark Hamill: Oh yeah. I thought it was a mistake from the beginning. It was just unlike anything else in the Star Wars universe. And I initially said that I didn't want to do it, but George said it would help keep Star Wars in the consciousness and I wanted to be a team player so I did it. And I also said that I didn't think Luke should sing, so they cut that number. And now, I think we shouldn't be ashamed of it. They should put on the extra of the DVD's - it shows how incredibly fallible we are! At that same time, it did introduce Boba Fett in an animated sequence, so it's significant in that respect. Plus Art Carney was in it, who is one of my favorite comedic actors of all time.

Comment:Apparently Carrie Fisher let it slip that you guys will be in Episode 7, any response?

Mark Hamill:The only character I know for sure is returning is my friend R2-D2. He hasnít stopped beeping about it.

Question: If you could change one scene from the original trilogy what would you change and why?

Mark Hamill: There was a scene at the beginning of the first movie that was cut out. When you're first introduced to Mark he's on the farm and he sees the Robots, when R2 and C3PO eject he races to the club, and you see what his life is like on Tataouine. This beautiful actress calls him wormy. I loved it bc you saw that he wasn't well liked by his peers, and he bumps into Garrick Hagon, and Luke is really excited bc he has joined the empire, and Luke is so anxious to get off the farm and find his lot in life. He's thrilled that Biggs has joined the Empire, and feels as soon as he'd get the chance he'd join the rebel alliance. this shows that Luke is apolitical, and joining the empire is even attractive to him.

They changed to get to the plot faster, so now it goes straight to the 4th scene. The only place you can see it is the novelization of the screen play. With all the tweaking and adaptations, why not put it in to add detail to the story that's not there?

Peter Mayhew: Hi Mark, the people on reddit were very kind to me when I did my AMAA, hope you enjoy this community. Speak soon I'm sure. Cheers,

Peter Mayhew

Mark Hamill: Thanks Peter, they've been great and I'm really enjoying it. I love you and you have been a life-long friend. And I'm convinced there's no one closer to a real life wookiee in the most positive sense.

Also, I loved those pictures you released! I've got a ton of old pics from the set upstairs that I want to go through now.

Question: do you ever have second thoughts about not finishing Jedi school?

Mark Hamill Ha! I didn't know that i hadn't! Thats the problem, there are people who know more about the Star Wars universe than i do! people will scream at me if I get IG88's name wrong, on the movie it was just the medical droid. We called things the dust bin robot, we had pet names for things. People know so much more about it than i do.

I didn't go to proper Jedi school, I was just tutored by Obi-Wan and Yoda, that was the closest thing to school. Then i dashed off against obi's wishes, he didn't think i was ready. He was probably right.

Question: How much are you allowed to tell us about your involvement in the upcoming starwars movies?

Mark Hamill: Haha. Iím not being coy, really. When I find something out, Iíll let everybody know. But nothing has been decided yet.

Comment: Hello Mark and welcome to Reddit, from the huge Star Wars fanbase over at /r/starwars . Thanks for doing the AMA

Mark Hamill: My pleasure! You know, Star Wars fans over the years have become so familiar to me. And they are so warm and so supportive, they're almost like family. I'm so grateful to them in so many ways. You're always taken aback because I don't think of it on a day to day basis, then you go to one of these celebrations or fan conventions. I call them UPF's, ultra passionate fans, and they are very special to all of us, me especially.

Question: Who would win in a fight: Batman, Luke Skywalker, or Skips?

Mark Hamill: Well you know Batman is physically much more formidable, but Luke has that Jedi magic, maybe he'd use mind tricks. I hope it would never come to that, because I think I'd have a hard time beating someone like Batman. My only hope would be mind tricks or running and hiding.

Question: Was Yoda just as wierd IRL? ;)

Mark Hamill I never thought of him as weird, he was unexpected, because the audience and Luke both thought a Jedi Master must be 6'5" with a formidable physical presence. But that was the whole point, he was a little toad like creature. Frank Oz and the people who imbued him with life were spectacular, I loved that whole experience. I could tell it was a monumental character to be introducing in the 2nd installment, I loved it. The minute I looked at him, he was real to me. You notice that with small children, the puppeteer isnít hiding what he's doing but the kids are zeroed in on Oscar or Grover or whoever, again its that childlike ability to believe and I never want to feel like I lose that. I was marveling at what a breakthrough puppet it was with the movement and the way they could build something like this, but if it hadnít been for Frank Oz and Larry Kasdan writing that script it would have been a much different story. And I loved Yoda and still do.

Question: Was it hard to keep the secret that Darth Vader was Luke's father? I read you were one of the few people who actually knew this before the premier.

Mark Hamill Irvin Kirshner brought me aside, and said "I know this, George knows this, and you'll be the third person who knows. If it goes out we'll know you leaked it." So i was terrified of being the one to ruin it. I remember when they screened it, Harrison turned around and said "I didn't know that! Why the f*&^ didn't you tell me?!"

Im good at keeping secrets. Especially when the goal it to maximize the enjoyment of the audience. That's why I'm worried about episode 7, they're going after casting sheets! I'm someone who doesn't want to know what I'm getting for my birthday. My sisters would go through the closets at xmas, and i hated that.

Im trying to keep the surprises for the movies, not for the internet. I hate spoilers, I like being surprised. There's a natural curiosity, and a competition to see who can reveal the most. I beg people, please lets keep it a surprise! Don't you want to be surprised? I know I do.

Question: What's the Inside of a Taun Taun like?

Mark Hamill: You know, warm and cozy. I also got inside a Bantha, those creatures that were outside the cantina. The inside of it was pasted over with newspapers and glue to give it substance, I thought, 'This is really odd.' I also got inside of Jabba, which was like a sauna bath, because it's like a big rubber enclosure. All the puppeteers had gone to lunch and I wondered, 'I wonder what it's like in there.'

Question: Wookies or Droids?

Mark HamillJust for the sake of loyalty, it would have to be R2 and C-3PO. Hans had the Wookiee. I love the fact that C-3PO was so unhappy being thrust into these adventures. Heíd be so much happier working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. C-3PO was one of the funniest characters in those movies, I thought.

Question: Would you rather fight 100 Ewok sized AT-AT's or 1 AT-AT sized Ewok?

Mark Hamill: Probably the one AT-AT sized Ewok, because you'd probably have a better chance, if you had a 100 little things they could swarm all over you like ants on a glob of honey. Maybe you'd have the chance of hiding and not catching his attention, or you could climb up behind him and hang on and hope he gets tired. Obviously I've given a lot of thought to this.

Question: Did you get to keep any props or memorabilia from filming Star Wars?

Mark Hamill: I kept something from each film. From the first I kept my boots. I had to ask for them, I didnít just take them! I kept the stormtrooper helmet that I rescued Princess Leia in. The ones that were commercially made last much longer.

I have little bits and pieces from each of the movies. I would never think of selling these things. I saw they were auctioning my pants from the first film for $44,000! They were just bleached out levis with the pockets ripped out. There were multiples made for me and my stunt double. That seemed like a really steep price.






last 10 shown - scroll to view more   Member Comments

Bespin refugee
2014-07-17
1:57 am

[url= (link) AMA w/ J.W. Rinzler[/url] 
Bespin refugee
2014-07-09
2:11 am

[url= (link) AMA w/ Jeremy Bulloch[/url] 
Bespin refugee
2014-06-27
6:56 pm

[url= (link) AMA Chat w/ Warwick Davis[/url] 
Bespin refugee
2014-04-14
12:57 am

[url= (link) Ford Reddit AMA Q&A[/url] 
Bespin refugee
2014-01-24
1:39 am

I had no idea they were just jeans until that auction. I just noticed the seam in one of the old publicity photos, lol. [url= (link) out the 2nd 'kneeling' pic[/url]. 
FUGAYZIE
2014-01-23
2:36 pm

interesting read. i cant believe his pants sold for $40+k. that's crazy. 
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