The galaxy’s new hope — and Star Wars icon — Mark Hamill sits with Warwick Davis for a special chat at Star Wars Celebration Europe. Follow along with our liveblog!
14:34: Warwick Davis takes the stage! Standing ovation again!
14:35: Davis shows off some items from the Celebration Store. First is a blow-up Yoda. Not life-size, to Davis’ disappointment.
14:36: Now talking to a fan: the “Lederhosentrooper.”
14:39: R4-CEII, Davis’ interpretor astromech, is introduced. He claims to have a part in Episode VII.
14:41: Now playing a Luke highlight reel!
14:43: And Mark Hamill is introduced. Huge ovation — people standing for a good two minutes!
14:44: “They’re the greatest fans in the world. Better than say, Harry Potter fans,” Hamill says.
14:45: “They know more about the movies than I do…when I was making the films, I was always bugging George [Lucas] for minutia,” Hamill says. “He would make up lies to make me go away.”
14:46: Hamill now talking about the filming of the end of Empire. In the script, it was, “You don’t know the truth…Obi-Wan killed your father.” And it leaked. Hamill was then informed of the real ending: “Irvin Kershner took me aside and said, ‘I know this, and George knows this, and I’m going to tell you.’” So if it leaked, they’d know Hamill leaked it. He loved the real twist.
14:50: On Episode VII. Hamill says he doesn’t know much, but that they’re making great choices with the creators, and that Disney has done a great job with Marvel and Pixar. But he has his own ideas for the cast. “I have this fantasy that the whole cast will be nothing but people that make me laugh: Brian Regan, Andy Kindler, Sarah Silverman…”
14:52: He thought Star Wars was very funny when he first read the script, and Alec Guinness was delighted to be in it for one reason. “He said, ‘Well, I’ve always wanted to play a wizard.’…Alec said ‘I always wanted to play a wise mentor, a sage.’…he felt it was a great film for children, which is what we all thought.”
14:54: On what he thought of his role at first: “When I read with Harrison [Ford], I thought that he was the main character and I was his sidekick. Because he was a leading man.” But Hamill loved it, because he grew up a fan of Ray Harryhausen and Universal monsters.
14:56: Hamill nails his original lines from the audition, and is killing with his Harrison Ford impersonation.
14:58: Not sure if the Star Wars script was a parody or not, Hamill decided to play the role sincerely.
14:59: On when he realized it was a hit: “We drove by [the Chinese theater] and there were lines around the block, and I couldn’t believe it…We started the North American publicity tour…when we landed in Chicago, there were all these crowds and I said, ‘There might be someone famous on the plane,’” not realizing the crowd was waiting for them.
15:01: Hamill says the Star Wars budget was “about the catering budget on Avengers.”
15:02: Hamill only realized he was the main character when he saw the original title page of the full script — which he did not have when he auditioned.
15:05: “I’m cautiously optimistic about the new trilogy. Disney knows what they’re doing. Kathleen Kennedy’s resume speaks for itself…most important to me is Michael Arndt…he’s very gifted for writing ensemble pieces. He writes character, and heart, and warmth…I thought if they did VII, VIII, and XI, it was not going to be about us. We had a beginning, a middle, and an end…It would about the next generation.” Hamill then does an “Old Luke” version of “But I want to go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters.”
15:08: “They’re working on the new movies and I hope to be a part of it,” Hamill says. Big applause. “If they’re going to do this thing, how can I miss out on something that exciting?”
15:10: Now onto Stage Wars, where Davis and Hamill will reenact a scene. It’s the end of Empire!
15:14: A Luke costumer in attendance is going to play the part…Hamill will mentor. Davis will be Darth…
15:16: Hamill notes that almost all movie dialogue is dubbed. In this scene, giant fans were whirling to create the atmosphere, making it almost impossible to hear anything or record lines.
15:19: The scene continues, though it’s not quite script-accurate. “Just call me Dad Vader,” Hamill says in an aside for Vader’s famous line.
15:21: Now onto trivia. Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig and Dave Filoni are the only guests to score a 9.
15:24: Doing very well so far. None wrong!
15:29: Hamill has to say his famous “power converters” line. He prefaces it by saying it was intentionally whiney, because he knew the character would have an arc.
15:30: Hamill says that two Jawas (he just had to identify them by sound in trivia) were played by Gary Kurtz’s daughters. They didn’t enjoy it that much. (They were 9 and 11.)
15:32: Hamill gets an 11 — a perfect score!
15:33: Twitter questions. Would you voice a villain in Rebels? “Of course…I’d love to play a villain.” Hamill is currently a voice actor in four animated series.
15:34: Any thoughts on Irvin Kershner? “He was a really deep and cerebral fella, so he was perfect for Empire Strikes Back…Kershner would go wherever you wanted to go. He was so smart and so experienced…working with actors and making them feel like they’re contributing to the whole of it. I don’t think there could have been a more perfect director for that film…I’m so privileged to work with him.”
15:36: Did Luke ever get to pick up his power converters? Hamill says there is a deleted scene where Luke hangs out with his friends. But they make fun of him. He runs into Biggs, a young Imperial looking to join the Rebellion. Hamill thinks it’s an important scene that should be put back in, because it shows Luke is a typical teenager with no political agenda, but he’s excited about the possibilities of doing something with his life.
That’s it! Thanks for reading!