The latest episode in the Star Wars saga was loaded with epic moments, but one particular instance behind the scenes proved to be emotional for one of the most important actors in the series.
As shown in The Director and the Jedi, the documentary packaged with the home video release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill quietly made his way to the puppeteering rehearsal by Frank Oz. There, the Luke Skywalker actor had an emotional reacquaintance that trained his Jedi character decades ago. Watch a clip above the meeting above.
In the clip, writer and director Rian Johnson sneaks onto the set with Mark Hamill while Oz and the Yoda puppeteers are going over some lines and movements. Watching the team do their work while Oz belts out dialogue in his Yoda voice has an obvious impact on Hamill.
“Oh my god,” he says to himself, shaking his head with a slight smile. “It’s really getting to me.”
Johnson puts a hand on Hamill’s shoulder then announces their arrival to Oz, “Frank, we’re spying on you.”
Oz and Hamill then have a heartfelt reunion and embrace each other.
“I’m still upset that he hasn’t aged a day,” Hamill jokes. “And I’ve aged tragically.”
“But you look gorgeous,” Oz reassures him.
The clip goes on to show how the production crew was able to create a replica based on the original puppet mold from The Empire Strikes Back. It also reveals that Oz originally thought it was going to be a CG version of the character when he first met with Johnson over his involvement, then was surprised when they wanted to go all out with the puppet.
“The way Rian wrote this particular scene, this is the only way this scene could have worked,” says Oz. “Mark could not work with a CG character, because it wasn’t true to the Yoda Luke knew from Empire.”
It was an emotional turning point in the series and for Luke Skywalker, who uses the opportunity to learn from his old master one more time.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available on Digital HD. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD versions will be available on March 27th.
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