‘If it weren’t for the genius of George Lucas I wouldn’t be standing here today.’
Mark Hamill, whose career in television and film has crossed galaxies and genres over several decades, officially received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday in a ceremony that included a few famous members of the Star Wars family.
Fans gathered in Hollywood and watched online as Hamill received his star, which Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler called the “one of the largest crowds we’ve ever had at one of these ceremonies.” Many fans wielded their lightsabers in celebration, while two stormtroopers stood stoically on either side of Hamill’s new star throughout the ceremony.
Several of Hamill’s colleagues were in attendance, including The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, co-stars Kelly Marie Tran and Billie Lourd, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Two of Hamill’s longtime collaborators, George Lucas and Harrison Ford, were both on hand to speak on Hamill’s behalf. They emphasized Hamill’s infectious enthusiasm, with Lucas calling him “a character that can’t be written.”
“I’m very proud of Mark for getting this star,” Lucas said. “We’ve been around together for, I don’t want to say for how many years, and we’ve come a long way from that casting session with the thing to getting your star on Hollywood Boulevard with a few little movies in between. A couple plays, TV series, and that bit. For us, this is kind of getting toward the end of the road. We’re talking about the beginning of the road and this is sort of capping the whole experience in-between.”
Ford said that to prepare for speaking at Hamill’s ceremony, he went back and watched their screen test for the first Star Wars movie and was surprised at how good Hamill was in it. He captured everything Lucas was looking for in a protagonist.
Ford also made reference to Carrie Fisher, whose death in 2016 sent ripples all over the world but especially with those who knew her.
“When thinking about today I was really sorry that we don’t have the other member of our trio here to celebrate with us,” Ford said. “But I feel her presence.”
He ended his speech by praising Hamill for how he’s lived his life and embraced it along the way.
“Mark is a friend that I don’t see very often,” Ford said. “Our lives have diverged a certain extent. But I am pleased for him. He has been the master of his own experience, his own life, and he is—as he always was—a quiet, sincere, honest person. He’s not a grandstander, and I think he has found comfort and utility and control of his destiny and I’m happy for you, pal.”
Hamill took to the podium at the end of the ceremony, joking that he hadn’t “been this speechless since Force Awakens.”
“Let’s be honest, if it weren’t for the genius of George Lucas I wouldn’t be standing here today,” Hamill said. “So whatever fates led me to his doorstep, he changed my life in a way that still reverberates today.”
He thanked his costars, his family for being his first audience, and the fans who have supported him along the way, talking about his love of movies and the Disney behind-the-scenes specials that made him want to be part of movies even if he wasn’t starring in them.
“Finally and most importantly, I want to thank all of you here today,” he said. “You are with me through thick and thin, in the highs and in the lows and everywhere in-between. If it weren’t for the public, I’d be nowhere. From Jedi to Joker and back again, it’s been a fantastic ride. Thank you so much, and may the Force be with each and every one of you.”
He ended his speech with the Joker’s signature laugh before being accompanied by R2-D2 for the official unveiling of his star.
— Star Wars (@starwars) March 8, 2018