HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 16: Mark Hamill arrives at the premiere of Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise Of The Skywalker" on December 16, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Mark Hamill Remembers Empire Strikes Back As 'Grueling' Experience
During a 1980 interview with the BBC, actor Mark Hamill discussed how “The Empire Strikes Back” was a “physical ordeal” for his character, Luke Skywalker, as he would have to face off against Darth Vader. While his character faced many challenges in the movie, Hamill revealed that he needed to put in just as much work as the young Jedi-in-training.
The actor explained, “I have to look like an expert swordsman, which I’m not. So, for four and a half months before we started filming, I started five days a week with karate, kendo — which is Japanese swordplay. I did some weightlifting, and I took fencing.” While Hamill had to do his own stunts, the actor was eager for the chance and credited the stuntmen for making him look good.
During the film’s 40th anniversary in 2020, Hamill shared, “In those days — it’s changed as I’ve gotten older — but in those days I wanted to do every possible stunt I could. [‘Empire’] was the most physically grueling of them all because of the lightsaber duels and all that.” Hamill went above and beyond for the film, delivering one of the greatest final-act showdowns in movie history.