Mark Hamill recalls his emotional return to the Millennium Falcon on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Dec 17, 2018, 4:00 PM EST (Updated)

Luke Skywalker’s return to the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Last Jedi isn’t just an emotional experience for fans. It was an emotional experience for actor Mark Hamill as well.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hamill said he first returned to the ship that made the Kessel Run in record time — and, considering a parsec is a unit of distance, space — on a non-shooting day, at the behest of the film’s documentary crew.

“I’m telling you, I didn’t expect to have the reaction I had ... It was sort of like visiting an old house that you lived in when you were a kid. I mean, I just welled up with emotion and I said, ‘I need to be by myself,' ” said Hamill.

Hamill wasn’t the only one feeling the emotional impact of a return to the recreated film set. Director Rian Johnson said he watched Hamill’s reaction to the ship through monitors, along with other crew members of The Last Jedi. “God, I remember so vividly getting that shot of him turning on the lights in the Falcon cockpit. And we all kind of looked at each other, just like, ‘Oh my God,’” said Johnson.

If that’s the reaction of the cast and crew, we can hardly imagine the lump in our fannish throats when we see The Last Jedi. In character, Han Solo has just died, so Luke will be feeling a remnant of his presence. When Luke first boarded the Millennium Falcon, he was the callowest of youths, but Han recognized his talent and offered him a job. Instead, Luke learned the ways of the Force. And the galaxy has never been the same.

The Millennium Falcon first belonged to Lando Calrissian, who lost it to Han Solo in a game of sabacc. Gannis Ducain stole the famed bucket of bolts from Han Solo, the Erwin Boys lifted it from Ducain, Unkar Plutt stole it from the Erwin Boys, and Rey and Finn whisked it away from Unkar Plutt. It currently remains parked on Ahch-To. But not for long.