In Star Wars: The Force Awakens there's a scene where a character picks up a lightsaber and is then flooded with memories. As it turns out, that's sort of what happens in real life too. Recently, we saw a clip from Mark Hamill's new show Pop Culture Quest where he had a chance to hold his actual lightsaber from Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi for the first time in decades. Our own Nick Venable had a chance to ask Hamill how that felt. It turns out the prop really did cause him to start thinking about the experience of making the movie.
I didn't know that was going to happen. People sometimes assume that we get to keep our props which, of course, we don't. I didn't know that they were going to have that on set. That's the fun thing about a show like this; it's unpredictable, and you can never be sure exactly what's going to happen. And it has some emotional resonance for me, because I'm not overly sentimental, but it really brings back memories. When I think of those movies, I mostly think of the cast and the crew, you know. The guy who was my dresser, or the prop guy, or even the tea lady. The studio stuff was done in England; of course we went on location to various countries, but I see these photographs and these memories of the people that most people don't know, and they were the family that you lived with when you were making these films. Some of them I've worked with again, and some I haven't seen since we did the original films, but it's a sense memory thing. You hold something like that in your hands and you think, 'Oh gosh, I remember when John Mollo was here." Like I say, it brings back some really great memories.
Mark Hamill says he's not overly sentimental, which may be why moments like the one in the show do bring back memories. He may not be the sort who dwells upon the past most of the time, but when the past stares him in the face like that, he can't help but think about what was going on the last time he held that lightsaber. And of course, he has a different perspective on making the Star Wars movies than the rest of us do. We see the lightsaber and we think about Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader. He sees it and thinks about the prop master who gave it to him, who he got to know over the course of the trilogy, or the Costume Designer John Mollo, who created the look that came to represent Luke Skywalker.
Mark Hamill's Pop Culture Quest is a new series on the Comic-Con HQ streaming service that sees the actor finding and interacting with numerous movie props, in the series' ninth episode "Raiders of the Lost Props" collector Brandon Alinger presents Hamill with his actual Return of the Jedi lightsaber, along with a number of other interesting pieces. The season finale of Season 1 of Pop Culture Quest will debut on Comic-Con HQ January 24 and will focus on 3D printing. We're looking forward to checking it out, and we're hoping that Season 2 will follow it in short order, though that has yet to be confirmed.