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Mark Hamill Shares Funny Story Behind Empire Strikes Back’s Trippiest Sequence

Mark Hamill training in Empire Strikes Back

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As far as movie franchises go, there are few quite as beloved as Star Wars. And out of the entire galaxy far, far away, The Empire Strikes Back remind the undisputed fan favorite. Now Mark Hamill has shared a funny story behind one of Empire’s trippiest sequences.

The narrative of Star Wars was greatly expanded in Empire Strikes Back, with the inclusion of beloved characters like Boba Fett and Yoda. Luke spends much of the movie training on Dagobah, including one trippy dream sequence. Now Mark Hamill has revealed how the shot of Luke's decapitated head wearing Darth Vader’s helmet came together, check it out below.

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As always, Mark Hamill continues to be a delightful presence online. This time around he offered a peek behind the curtain for Empire Strikes Back, especially the unique challenges that came with Luke’s dream. Let’s break down what the legendary actor has shared.

Mark Hamill’s photos and story about Empire Strikes Back comes to us from the actor’s personal Instagram page. Hamill is super active on social media, often using it to directly communicate with the generations of Star Wars fans out there. And it turns out that after some faulty props, his face was actually used behind Darth Vader’s mask in the dream scene. Although that was easier said than done.

Star Wars fans can re-watch Mark Hamill’s time as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars over on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

In addition to the images of the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back scene coming together, Mark Hamill’s caption revealed the stops and starts that came with nailing down this sequence. Specifically, how difficult it was not to cough or cry as a result of smoke on set. As he put it,

On Camera: All Business Between Takes: The Real Me. Dissatisfied with the look of my molded prop head, we reshot this scene by putting my real head into the helmet from under the stage. Hardest part was not blinking or shedding a tear as they wafted smoke across my face. True story. What can I say? #ImJustASlaveToMyArt

That certainly sounds like quite the process, and shows how important Luke’s dream sequence was to the overall plot of Empire Strikes Back. For those casual fans, you can re-watch the Star Wars scene in question below.

While there was some difficulty nailing down the above scene, Mark Hamill’s photo and story from the set show how much fun he was having regardless. Hamill’s name would become synonymous with Luke and Star Wars, eventually reprising his signature role decades later for the sequel trilogy.

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker serving as the finale to the nine-film Skywalker Saga, Mark Hamill’s time as Luke seemingly came to an end. But fans were thrilled and shocked to see Hamill’s signature character pop up in the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. Hamill even played the role on set, being digitally de-aged to fit properly into the Star Wars canon. So who knows when he might reprise his role next?

The Star Wars franchise will continue to grow with shows on Disney+, as well as Patty Jenkins’ developing Rogue Squadron movie. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.