The most recent episode of the Star Wars saga dealt with a quest to find Luke Skywalker, in part to return to him his old lightsaber. A new video shows a similar event for the man behind the Jedi. Mark Hamill was recently reunited with the actual lightsaber prop that he used in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, and also like the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that lightsaber also has a detailed history.
The clip comes from Pop Culture Quest, a show on Comic-Con HQ which has been provided by Geek Tyrant. The show follows Mark Hamill as he finds some of the rarest and most interesting pieces of memorabilia in film. Of course, having been part of one of the biggest film franchises ever means that Hamill himself has a direct connection to some of those pieces. When Mark Hamill is shown his lightsaber from Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, which one assumes he hasn't seen since the early 1980s, you can almost see the memories rushing back into his head.
We also learn in the clip that the piece has an even deeper history that the end of the first Star Wars trilogy. The same hilt was used by Sir Alec Guinness in the first Star Wars movie. It was the hilt that he fought Darth Vader with, which explains why the piece is heavier than you might expect. It contained a motor which spun the "blade" of the lightsaber in order to help create the effect that was needed in order to draw in the lightsaber later. Interestingly, while the lightsaber contained a motor, there apparently wasn't enough space in the hilt to add power, so Mark Hamill says he had to wear a battery pack on his belt that would get the mechanism to work.
It just goes to show how far special effects have come in the nearly 40 years since Star Wars began. Today you wouldn't even need to power the lightsabers in order to create them on screen, and even if they did, you certainly wouldn't need external power to get them to work.
It's a fitting moment to see Mark Hamill reunited with an old lightsaber. On screen, the same thing happens at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Although, while Mark Hamill seems to truly be enjoying the moment, it's far less clear how Luke Skywalker feels about that moment on the mountain top.
Pop Culture Quest is a brand new show on the Comic-Con HQ streaming service. If everything the show is able to dig up is as interesting as this it could be a great way to get a look at, and learn the history of, some classic movie props. If nothing else it will be one way to be entertained by Mark Hamill until Star Wars: Episode VIII comes out in December.