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Mark Hamill indulges Stephen Colbert's inner Star Wars geek on The Late Show

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)

One of the most endearing things about the resurgent movie juggernaut that is the Star Wars series is the re-entry into the public eye of the once and present Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill. On Friday’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Hamill showed his willingness—not to say eagerness—to portray Luke again at pretty much any opportunity, donning a middle-aged version of the young Luke’s white Tatooine garb for a sketch where the hunted Jedi tries to sneak past Colbert’s snooty Mos Eisley maître d’ to hide out from the First Order. (The sketch takes place, as Colbert put it, in the 30-year gap between Return Of The Jedi and the present day. Or, the “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” present day. You get it.) Sure, all the bantha poop and Jar Jar jokes are affectionately grown-worthy, but at least we got to hear Colbert sing the cantina song.

It’s all pretty adorable, especially as lifelong Star Wars fan Colbert was obviously as delighted to be doing it as is the ever-game Hamill. In their follow-up interview, the pair bonded over their shared love of all things Star Wars, with a little stop over in the Batman universe, where, as Colbert noted, a recent poll named Hamill’s version of The Joker (from Batman: The Animated Series and assorted films) the definitive version of the character. Colbert, who similarly got to live out his nerdiest dreams when Peter Jackson put him in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for a few precious seconds, was, sadly, unable to get Hamill to divulge any secrets from the upcoming The Last Jedi (opening December 15). “I know you can’t tell us anything, conceded Colbert, before pleading, “So tell us everything!” (No dice—not even the damned color of Luke’s lightsaber, for crying out loud.)

Regardless, the two gushed over the movies, and each other, and were generally delightful as Hamill enthused repeatedly, “You guys, I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having,” while the smiling Colbert confided, “The 13-year-old in me is going insane right now.” As the conversation went on, Hamill spoke earnestly about those he terms the “U.P.F.s” (“ultra-passionate fans”) of the Star Wars films, and how they continually approach him with stories about how the films’ escapist tales of heroism and adventure have helped them through tough times. “Real life is really unpleasant at times,” said Hamill, “and this is a good way to forget.” Colbert, who spent his Friday monologue running down, among other things, the fact that the president spent his day openly campaigning for an outspoken bigot and seriously alleged pedophile, seemed to agree.


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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