This week, screenwriter Ed Solomon shared a story about Mark Hamill that proved the actor is an even bigger hero than his famous onscreen alter ego. In a short Twitter thread that has since gone viral, Solomon explained how Hamill once went out of his way to make a terminally ill’s child wish come true:
“When a friend’s son (who was, so tragically, dying from an incurable illness) made a wish: to meet Luke Skywalker, it fell on me — the only person the dad knew who worked in the film business — to make a call,” he wrote. “Not knowing Mark, I called his agent and explained that this lovely boy watched Star Wars every day and wanted to meet NOT Mark Hamill, but, rather, the actual CHARACTER that he played (the boy’s own mental state had devolved past the point of being able to grok that Luke was fictional). The agent begrudgingly said he’d call Mark, but also said not to get my hopes up. 90 seconds later I got a call from Mark Hamill who immediately said yes and gave me his home address. He not only met with the boy, but spent hours answering question after question (sometimes the same ones repeatedly), AS “Luke.” Even posting this now makes me teary. He was compassionate, kind, and patient. And it literally meant the world to this kid and his family.”
Hamill responded to the thread by tweeting, “There’s no sweeter sound than a child laughing-I’ve been so lucky-feel it’s my duty 2 give back in any way I can-Much prefer visits 2 hospitals than talk-shows Heartbreaking but inspirational-makes my career seem trivial in comparison-Wish I could do more ❤️.”
Solomon replied saying, “It was not just that you did it – which was lovely. It was the WAY you did it: simple, direct, with absolute dignity and respect for this boy – which was quite beautiful. And, to be honest, profound. We all left better people because of it.”
On Tuesday, Solomon followed up with another chapter to this heartwarming tale:
“After giving John and his brother a bunch of Stars Wars stuff, Mark Hamill asked John if he had any more questions. John said ‘Yes. Can I meet Princess Leia?’ Joe Sikorra, John’s dad, smiled and subtly waved to Mark ‘No no, you don’t have to do that!’ But Mark said ‘Can’t hurt to ask.’ That night I received the second – and only other – call I’ve ever gotten from Mark Hamill: ‘Please tell John that Princess Leia would be delighted to meet him.’ I called Carrie Fisher and told her about John and his brother, Ben, who was also afflicted with this rare, incurable disease. She became emotional, and spoke about the unfairness of life. She then said she had only two questions: ‘Where?’ and ‘When?’ Sadly, John’s condition deteriorated rapidly at that point, and they never got to meet. I posted all this because, like many people, I was feeling overwhelmed by seeing hero after hero of mine trending, and then wincing as I peered through my fingers to read something horrible about them.”
Indeed, the past few months have been disheartening for film fans, to the point where it sometimes seems like every one of your childhood idols has turned out to be a sexual predator. Which is why it’s particularly wonderful to hear stories that prove that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and the late, great Carrie Fisher, are just as courageous and kindhearted as the legends they portrayed onscreen (in case you haven’t heard, Harrison Ford pulled a woman out of a car crash just last week). And in case that’s not heartwarming enough, remember that last year the director of Rogue One, Gareth Edwards, made a terminally ill Star Wars fan’s dream come true by showing him an early screening of the film two days before he died.
The Force is with us. The good prevail.
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