With our faith intact that Luke Skywalker’s seemingly ultimate demise in The Last Jedi wasn’t really the true ending to the story of the galaxy’s most fervently worshiped Jedi, Mark Hamill’s Star Wars swan song is nevertheless speeding toward its final descent. So as The Rise of Skywalker counts down the days to its premiere next week, the farm boy from Tatooine is taking to Twitter — where he’s letting fans everywhere know just how emotional a journey playing the role of a lifetime has been.
Hamill shared a batch of remarkable behind-the-scenes photos of his time in the Star Wars universe over the years, accompanied by a heartfelt message to fans about how taking his first step into a larger world, all those years ago, ended up setting him on a career path — and a personal journey — that’s helped him see the good side of how a mega-movie franchise can unite people from all walks of life.
“As the end draws near — I can't tell you how much 1 single role has meant to me over the years,” he began:
“Because of him,” wrote the Star Wars icon with the hashtag #BeingLuke, “…it seems like the whole world is my family. I will be grateful for that…Forever.”
That kind of talk has the hair-raising power to send a chill down the spine of even the most seasoned fan — especially when it’s paired with images that show Hamill in a candid chat with Harrison Ford (RIP, Han Solo), reflecting on his time-altered personae from the different Star Wars movie eras, and beaming like a schoolkid beside a Star Wars logo from so early on in the series that most fans probably haven’t seen it (or simply forgot).
It’s a nostalgia wave for sure, but when you’re staring down the finale of a nine-movie, four-decade saga that’s forever tied Mark Hamill, the actor, to one of movie history’s most titanic fictional characters, it’s a wave we’ll let wash over us every time. Even if all we see of Luke’s luminous being in Episode IX is a light-shrouded Force Ghost projection, we’ll probably get a little misty-eyed when The Rise of Skywalker arrives on Dec. 20 — and after all Luke’s been through, we won’t even try to hide it.