Mark Hamill kicked off this week's Star Wars Weekends appearance both in The Legends of the Force Motorcade, and then in "A Conversation with Mark Hamill" at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The latter is hosted by James Arnold Taylor, and Hamill talked some about the upcoming Star Wars VII, along with his reflections on Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford (Hamill does great impressions of Ford and George Lucas) and so much more. And what if Luke Skywalker ever had the chance to encounter The Joker? You can see that here too!
There were several big names at Star Wars Weekends this week, including Billy Dee Williams and Ray Park. But this was Mark Hamill's first appearance, and he drew more of a crowd than I've ever seen for the motorcade and at any talk show.
A Cast Member "drew" Darth Vader with water and a broom. It didn't last long in the hot Florida sun.
Jedi Mickey always leads off the motorcade.
Princess Leia Minnie waves to the crowd.
Billy Dee Williams has been to Star Wars Weekends previously, and is very popular with guests.
This is at the beginning of the parade route, just as Mark Hamill is seen for the first time at Star Wars Weekends.
Mark Hamill seemed thrilled to be there, he was as enthusiastic as the crowds. He was also rocking a Disney Magic Band (as was Billy Dee Williams).
Here is our video of the full Star Wars Weekends motorcade with Mark Hamill!
The Legends of the Force Motorcade fully travels in one direction, but the actors and Jedi Mickey do proceed back down Hollywood Blvd. This returning motorcade was a little different than usual, in that one guest decided to start high-fiving the actors. Guests are not supposed to get in the street for any parade. Billy Dee Williams was the first to be high-fived, I was caught a bit off guard and didn't get a photo.
Security did catch up with the guest at this point, once he was almost to Mark Hamill. Mark Hamill was going for it, and ended up shrugging it off afterwards. Hamill came across as a very personable, down-to-earth guy during the motorcade and the show.
We had lunch at Mama Melrose, this is the photo of Mark Hamill that is on the wall. Most of the photos are about 30 years old.
We arrived about 90 minutes prior to our Fastpass reservation for "A Conversation with Mark Hamill". It allowed us to secure our favorite section of the theater. We had seen Mark Hamill talk at Star Wars Celebration, but this was a much more intimate setting of perhaps 1000 or so seats (simulcast in other areas of the park as well). Friday's show lasted just about 45 minutes.
Mark Hamill talked about how he attended a cattle call for the role of Luke Skywalker on the advice of his friend Robert Englund ("Nightmare on Elm Street"), which was held in the same space that auditions were being held for "Carrie" by Brian DePalma. Englund told him it was like "Flash Gordon or something". At first, Hamill thought George Lucas was an assistant, as he was so quiet.
Hamill didn't know if the script was real or parody when he first read it. He stated, "It seemed to me it was like Mel Brooks or something".
Hamill joked that he up for the title role in a low-budget, independent film called "The Life Story of George Lucas".
Mark Hamill plugs his ears to show what everyone should do when faced with Star Wars spoilers! He said the film was like "trying to plan a really big, elaborate surprise party...we want you to see it at the movies and not on the Internet".
He talks about it here in this video.
Hamill called Carrie Fisher "wickedly funny", and Harrison is "very witty". Hamill said of Alec Guiness that he was the "ultimate actor and the ultimate gentleman" and that he loved American humor.
Hamill said of working on "Star Wars" that it was "wicked fun". We have the entire show just below the next few photos!
If you are a Star Wars fan, this interview is definitely worth watching. It is a lot of fun!
During a Social Media segment, a fan asked Hamill if he could create a dialogue between Luke Skywalker and The Joker. Hamill is clearly great with impromptu, and came up with a fun little exchange that we have video of below.
Here is Mark Hamill creating the dialogue between Luke Skywalker and The Joker!
Hamill and James Arnold Taylor end the show with a quick embrace.
Hamill with his younger self and C3P0.
Hamill blows a kiss to the crowd.
Mark Hamill didn't seem to want to leave the stage, as James Arnold Taylor guides him off.
If you have a chance to see Mark Hamill in person, it is absolutely worth it! He is a wonderful storyteller and kept the audience laughing throughout. Star Wars Weekends has only one more weekend left, and this will certainly be the highlight for us.
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