In a clip from an upcoming episode of his Comic-Con HQ show, Pop Culture Quest, Mark Hamill reunites with his original Return of the Jedi lightsaber hilt.
We don’t know if Luke Skywalker wields his old green lightsaber in Episode VIII. But Mark Hamill came close when he reunited with his original Return of the Jedi lightsaber hilt.
In the above clip from Hamill’s show, Pop Culture Quest, a collector gave Hamill a chance to reconnect with the past. He managed to procure the original lightsaber hilt prop Hamill used in Return of the Jedi.
The find amazed the actor. As Hamill picked it up, the prop’s owner described how the same hilt was used in A New Hope by actor Alec Guinness. Hamill then recalled how Lucasfilm achieved the glow of the lightsaber on-set. He wore a battery on his belt, which connected to the hilt through a wire hidden in his sleeve. The battery powered a motor in the hilt, which caused the hilt’s top to spin.
During shooting, Hamill held up his prop and froze while crew members attached a “blade” to the hilt top. This blade was covered in a special material which reflected light “hundreds of times” its original intensity. Thus, the lightsaber was ignited for the camera.
It’s amazing how Industrial Light & Magic brought fantastic elements like lightsabers to life. We hope Hamill wields his old lightsaber again in Episode VIII.
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Star Wars: Episode VIII premieres in theaters December 15th, 2017.