Another successful Star Wars Celebration is now in the books, and one of the main fixtures this year was Mark Hamill, who was involved in events and panels throughout all four days of the convention. One of the panels he hosted was called “Hamill Himself,” where he talked about an array of different topics. An announce event, this year included the actor announcing the renewal of his TV series Pop Culture Quest, his involvement in Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 and a whole lot more. The Star Wars icon also shared another amazing story about the time he saw the first trailer for A New Hope, where it was heckled by one fan in a movie theater.
Disneyland Experience debuted the full Hamill Himself panel on their YouTube channel, after the panel was streamed live on Sunday afternoon. During this one-hour panel, the actor revealed that one day, after having lunch with Carrie Fisher, they both walked by a movie theater, where Carrie Fisher had said that the first Star Wars trailer was playing. They decided to try and convince the movie theater manager to let them in just to see the trailer, which neither of them had seen yet, and at the very end, the trailer was heckled by a fan. Here’s what Mark Hamill had to say about the first time he watched the Star Wars: A New Hope trailer, as Hamill and Fisher argued over who’d be the one to ask if they could step inside the theater without paying.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ She said, ‘Well, you’ve been on television for seven years. You’ve been on all these TV movies.’ We went in and we watched it. It was so early they didn’t have John Williams‘ score. They didn’t have very many special effects finished at all. A couple of shots of TIE Fighters, I think. It made a real impression on me because we hadn’t seen any of the footage. At the end of the trailer, it said, ‘A billion light years in the making. And it’s coming to your galaxy this summer.’ Big explosion. And somebody in the balcony yelled out, ‘Yeah, and it’s coming to the late show about two weeks after that.’ Nobody enjoys a well-placed, snarky remark more than I do. So we both laughed, but after we laughed, we kind of went, ‘Uh oh.'”
While some fans may not have responded to the first Star Wars trailer too well, by the time the May 25, 1977 release date had arrived, fans were lining up in droves to see writer-director George Lucas‘s sci-fi adventure set in a galaxy far, far away. The movie earned a record $307.2 million during its initial theatrical run, breaking the all-time box office record set by Jaws ($260 million) just two years earlier in 1975. After a re-release in 1982 and the Special Edition re-release in 1997, the film has earned $460.9 million, a domestic record that stood until Titanic earned $658.6 million in 1997. Mark Hamill also shared another story about being introduced to young children who have no concept of aging yet, after seeing him in the original Star Wars movie and then meeting him in real life.
“Their parents, who were young children when the movies came out, would get very excited and push them toward me, in airports, grocery stores, you name it, and they’d go, ‘Look who it is! It’s Luke Skywalker!’ And you look at these 5- and 6-year-old kids, just horror-stricken. ‘Oh, my God! What happened to this guy? He really let himself go.’ To have us come back, and show us the way we are now, show that the aging process is natural, makes me less self-conscious.”
Fans will have to wait two more years to hear more of Mark Hamill’s stories, since it has been confirmed that there will be no Star Wars Celebration in 2018. The convention will return in 2019, ahead of the release of Star Wars: Episode IX, which is rumored to start filming this summer. Take a look at the full Mark Hamill Himself panel from Star Wars Celebration below, where he discusses Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and much, much more, and you can also check out that first trailer below.