Star Wars icon Mark Hamill received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today in Los Angeles, California. In the run-up to the event, other celebrities like William Shatner congratulated Hamill while also having some fun ribbing him. This is the 2,630th star to be awarded by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
The ceremony, held in front of the El Capitan Theater and livestreamed by Variety, was emceed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Leron Gubler, who welcomed guest speakers George Lucas and Harrison Ford. Also in attendance was The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson (who was seen autographing a large Infinity Gauntlet for a fan), Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher's daughter), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico in The Last Jedi), and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Even R2-D2 made room in his busy schedule to show up.
Two Stormtroopers flanked the podium, where Gubler introduced Hamill with a short overview of his life and career. Prominently seen standing behind the CEO were Ford and Lucas.
"Mark Hamill is a character that can’t be written," said Lucas. "He’s extremely enthusiastic about everything he does" — just the quality he was looking for when casting the role of Luke Skywalker back in 1977. "He proved to wear his medal well," continued the Star Wars creator of the arduous casting process during which he realized Hamill was the one when they started doing screen tests with fellow stars Ford and Fisher.
"I’m very proud of Mark for getting this star," Lucas finished, adding that Hamill's got a bunch more projects in him. When Hamill said the same thing for Lucas, the Star Wars creator said that he's "out of the game," to general laughter.
Ford went next, saying that more people showed up for Hamill than they did for his star ceremony in 2003 — "a lot more."
“I prepared myself for this experience by going back and looking at the screen tests that I did with Mark and I was surprised, actually how good he was … he had just the right blend of youthfulness and enthusiasm," Ford recalled.
He voiced his sadness that Fisher, who died in December 2016, was not there to celebrate with them, but that he felt her presence there. Ford continued, describing Hamill as "quiet, sincere, and honest. I think he has found comfort and utility and control of his destiny and I’m happy for you, pal. Congratulations.”
Finally, Hamill got to deliver his touching remarks on receiving such a high honor.
“Thank you all so much. These remarks will be brief because words truly fail me," he said. "It’s hard to convey my gratitude, my joy, the exhilaration of being recognized this way. I haven’t been this speechless since Force Awakens!"
Thanking those close to him, he mentioned Lucas. "If it weren’t for the genius of George Lucas, I wouldn’t be standing here today… He changed my life forever in a way that still reverberates today.”
Next, he sung Ford's praises, stating that he didn't know that his co-star would become the "biggest movie star in the world." However, it was clear that "I was in the presence of greatness," he added, offering some advice Ford gave him that he's tried to keep in mind all these years: "Hey, kid, don't get cocky."
He also thanked his family, Disney, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and, of course, all of his fans who have been with him through the good times and the bad times.
"If it weren’t for the public, I’d be nowhere," said Hamill. "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 then rounded off his speech with a maniacal Joker cackle.Hamill, 66, is most famous for portraying Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy and the current one, most recently playing a major role in The Last Jedi. He is also well-known for his prolific voice-acting career, having played the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. He appeared Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in a gag during which he "destroyed" Kimmel's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to make room for his own.
He also recently began talks with writer-director James Gunn to have a possible role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.