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Mark Hamill told Graham Norton he couldn't deal with the amount of steps he had to climb on Skellig Michael

He needed a break every 15 minutes to get up the 600 steps.

PastedImage-89717 Source: BBC

ON LAST NIGHT’S episode of The Graham Norton show, Graham made the very valid point that the new Star Wars movie is pretty much an ad for Irish tourism.

He’s not wrong, because Skellig Michael looks fairly well throughout the movie.

Skellig Michael renovation work Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Shortly after Graham brought it up, Mark Hamill admitted that he did not anticipate having to climb up the mountainous island for J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens.

When I first read the script and saw that I was only in it for twenty seconds, I said ‘Oh! This’ll be green-screened. I’ll just go up the road to J.J.’s studio in Santa Monica and I’ll be done by lunch time.

Well, he had another thing coming.

Little did I know, Skellig Michael – oh boy, there’s over six hundred steps. I asked ‘How long are you giving the crew to get up  there?’, and they said about 45 minutes. I said ‘Give me an hour and a half.’ I had to take a rest every fifteen minutes. It was brutal.

At another point in the show, Mark discussed what it was like to carry the responsibility of keeping the biggest secret in cinema’s history.

This secret, obviously, was that Darth Vader was his father. Hamill said that in the first Star Wars movie, nobody cared about keeping secrets. They handed scripts around to their friends, who handed them around to their friends too.

PastedImage-33353 Source: BBC

When the second film rolled around, things were a little bit stricter. They filmed a scene where Darth Vader simply said “You don’t know the truth. Obi Wan killed your father.” Mark says he thought “Wow! What a spectacular twist!”

Then Hamill was taken aside by the director who said:

I’m going to tell you something. I know it. George Lucas knows it and when I tell you, you’ll know it. If it leaks, we’ll know it was you.

Hamill received the script that said “Luke – I am your father.” He was completely shocked.

Source: BBC/YouTube

Mark Hamill says despite the fact that there was no social media, he was extremely paranoid that he’d let it slip by accident during the year and a half that he was told to remain quiet.

I didn’t tell Carrie – well y’know, telephone, telegraph, tele-Carrie. She had no vault whatsoever.  In fact, Harrison and I would test her. If you really wanted to get something out fast, you ask Carrie to keep it in confidence.

After Hamill shares his story, he also does an excellent impersonation of Harrison Ford. It’s spot on.

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Kelly Earley

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