‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ – Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Kelly Marie Tran and Laura Dern in the big NME interview
A short time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Olly Richards spoke to Mark Hammill, Daisy Ridley, Kelly Marie Tran and Laura Dern of Star Wars: The Last Jedi about good, evil, lightsabers and of course, the mighty Carrie FisherWhen Mark Hamill stepped into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon for the first time in 24 years, the weight of Star Wars history – cinema history – hit him with full force. “Holy moly,” he says, clasping his hands in a bushy beard the young Luke Skywalker could never have hoped to grow. “I told everyone, ‘I need a minute here’. There was a documentary crew following me everywhere. My family was there. I left them in the outer area, where we’d play that chess game [and went in alone]. They’d recreated it exactly as I remembered. It even smelled the same. I was just overwhelmed with emotion. You can go home again.”
Luke Skywalker’s return home has been a long time coming. After what Hamill calls “the most elaborate introduction in the history of film”, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is his film. It will let us in on what’s been happening to Skywalker for the past few decades. Based on his 46 seconds of screen time at the end of The Force Awakens, we know Luke has been living on a remote island on a remote planet, frightened into hiding when one of his pupils, Ben Solo – AKA Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – turned to the dark side and brought about the rise of the evil First Order. Found by Rey (Daisy Ridley), in whom the Force is very much awakened, Luke is now the only person who might be able to help the only person who can take down the First Order. He’s going to get a lot more to do this time than glower with his hood up. It’s time for the saga’s true hero to come out of the shadows. And he’s loving every second.Hamill knows he’s someone people are excited to see. His face brings childhood memories rushing back. When I open the door to his suite at the Rosewood Hotel in London, he’s sitting at the opposite end of a large room. Perhaps not to deliberately build a sense of anticipation, but it does.A few seconds to contemplate movie royalty. At 66, with that greying beard and mop-like hair, he looks like a sort of hipster Santa. Sitting in front of him feels like settling down for storytime, and that’s pretty much what you get. Hamill loves to tell stories. Where a lot of actors who have become defined by a single role resent it and try to turn the conversation to something else, Hamill embraces it. He seems to take genuine delight in discussing Luke Skywalker. His sentences tumble into each other as one anecdote becomes another. He knows he’s lucky to be back.