'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Had A Secret Role For Mark Hamill

  • Science Fiction
luke skywalker mark hamill
Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill Lucasfilm/Disney

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, we weren’t sure if we’d ever see another Star Wars movie again. Then, the newly-merged Disney-Lucasfilm shared the first-ever glimpse into the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The nostalgic-inspiring black-and-white photo revealed a table read that featured new faces as well as veteran cast members, including the legendary Luke Skywalker - aka Mark Hamill.

But as most of you know by now, Luke Skywalker didn’t appear in The Force Awakens until the final scene of the movie. Why then, was he present for a 120 page script reading when he doesn’t even speak a single line?! Turns out the new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams intended to confuse us all along.

“It was partly trickery,” Abrams told Entertainment Weekly. “We knew, obviously, that he didn’t speak in the film. And because we knew we were going to take pictures, and people knew he was in the movie, we needed to have him there.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens table read Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

Of course, seeing how Mark Hamill played one of the most famous protagonists in cinematic history, the actor had to be involved with the film for reasons besides mere deception. “It wouldn’t have been right not to have him there,” Abrams continued. “But it also wouldn’t have been right to have him there and not participate.”

So, what did Abrams have Hamill do? Read all of the stage directions, of course. If it sounds like a mundane job - it is - but at least it was better than sitting around doing nothing. Besides, even if it’s not the most exciting job in the world, it certainly remains very important. “It is a pretty herculean task, to ask an actor to read a hundred and twenty some pages aloud over the course of two plus hours,” said Abrams.

“I almost felt guilty,” the director went on. “And yet it also felt so right and I hoped that he would say yes. He immediately said, ‘Of course.’”

Having a Master Jedi read the entire script for Star Wars must’ve been an intimate experience, to say the least. Abrams agrees. “It was a way of having [him] be part of every scene, every moment, not just spiritually or thematically or narratively, but actually. Having his voice in it made the read through a better experience for everyone.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.

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