The Luke Skywalker actor, who was on the show to promote the second season of History Channel drama Knightfall, in which he stars, first talked about the allure of getting involved with the project.
“You know what is so great, is that when you get into all that gear and look in the mirror, Mark Hamill is gone,” he said. Hamill described his character Talus as “highly unlikable, a latter-day drill sergeant and he’s just brutal.”
Getting back to the franchise that made him a household name, he joked that he took on the Knightfall role for a “challenge,” because “eventually Star Wars is going to go away.” He added, “[Star Wars: Episode IX] comes out in December so I only have eight months of trolling left.”
“I love to tease the fans online,” he continued. “It drives them crazy. I’m sure Disney is not happy about it, but what are they gonna do, fire me? It’s too late.”
“How can you not have fun with it though? People say what was it like doing those movies, and we just laughed all day long,” he recounted of his work on the space saga. He said that castmate Harrison Ford “was too cool for school” and Hamill joked that Ford would make an excellent director “if he wasn’t so lazy.” As the audience howled with laughter, Hamill suggested that part could be edited out later.
In all seriousness, he recounted the awe he remembers feeling at being on set of the first Star Wars movies. “I’d have this moment of self awareness: To my right is one of the most venerated actors of the 20th century, Sir Alec Guinness [who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy], to my left is an 8-foot guy in a dog costume wearing headphones,” he said, laughing.
Of the enduring legacy of the films, he said when he read the script for the first film “it just hit me.” “This is more like Wizard of Oz than traditional sci-fi, because 2001 is a stone-cold classic, but a laugh riot it ain’t. And this one was so funny, it was on a human level,” he explained, although he jokingly lamented “leave it to George Lucas to write a script where the robots get better lines than me.”
The title and first teaser to the much-anticipated ninth and final film in the mega-franchise were released to a packed (and raucous) crowd at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago last week. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.
Knightfall airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on the History channel.