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Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker on Tattooine in Star Wars A New Hope

Lately, many of us have been so caught up in our many questions about Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, we’re forgetting the first Skywalker to rise: Mark Hamill. Since the release of A New Hope in 1977, the actor has been one of the most iconic faces in the space-opera franchise and he’ll go down in history as the hero who started it all.

With under a week before Episode IX concludes the Skywalker Saga for good, Mark Hamill penned a touching tribute to his famed Star Wars character, and also shared some cool photos. Check out his post below:

I’m not crying, you’re crying. In the post, Mark Hamill talks about how Luke Skywalker has allowed the world to feel like a good friend and family to him. Because he’s such a universal character in pop culture, no one is really a stranger. As you can imagine, people come up to him every day – already with a fondness of Star Wars on their minds. As his character’s story soon officially comes to an end, he’ll always have the legacy of Luke for the fanbase to admire.

The sweet tribute includes an awesome piece of artwork that has Luke sketching a picture of his older self with various Star Wars-related objects around his workspace. The second photo has Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford running lines back in the day. The third, a bit of a dorky one of Hamill standing next to an early poster of A New Hope with the same logo on his own t-shirt. The final photo is a movie poster that reads “coming to your galaxy this summer."

It’s really amazing to see how the small beginnings of George Lucas’ first film, made on an $11 million budget, turned into so many of the biggest movie events of the past 40 years – including Rise of Skywalker, likely with an over $200 million production budget. After A New Hope spawned a trilogy, it produced two more, two live-action spinoff films, animations shows, comic books, everything.

Although Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker died in The Last Jedi, many theorize he’ll play a role in Rise of Skywalker – likely as a Force Ghost. The upcoming movie will offer up a ton of nostalgia for the original franchise, since Billy Dee Williams is returning to his role as Lando Calrissian for the first time since the Return of the Jedi. The late Carrie Fisher will also have her final scenes as Leia Organa.

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker sees the return of J.J. Abrams as co-writer and director after Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Some fans are already camping out to be the first to see the movie, do you have your tickets yet? The final installment of the Skywalker Saga comes on December 20.

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