This Was Mark Hamill’s ‘Secret Role’ in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Table Read

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and digital HD, and as icing on top of this wonderful treat from the Star Warsfranchise, director J.J. Abrams is revealing more behind-the-scenes stories from the movie's production process.

In a new interview with EW,The Force Awakens director and Episode VIII producer has revealed exactly what Mark Hamill's role is in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Table Read – you know, the one veteran cast members and newcomers were doing in a black-and-white image during the start-of-production cast announcement.

Abrams recalled:

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It was a momentous thing for the new actors. We were not just coming together but we were going to be reading alongside the existing cast. It was…you could feel it in the air, the moment. It was exciting because we felt like it made it real in a weird way.

The image featured cast members who had lengthy appearances in the film, but Hamill's appearance there had been cryptic at best since he didn't exactly have much lines to say in The Force Awakens.


Apparently, the 64-year-old actor was only there for appearance's sake.

Abrams explained:

It was partly trickery. We knew, obviously, that he didn't speak in the film. And because we knew we were going to take pictures, and peopleknewhe was in the movie, we needed to have him there.
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It wouldn't have been rightnotto have him there, but it also wouldn't have been right to have him there and not participate.

So what did Abrams have the Luke Skywalker actor do during the table read? Well, Hamill agreed to read the stage directions, so that he had lines to read for every page, as shown in The Story Awakens Blu-ray bonus feature.

Abrams shared:

It is a pretty herculean task, to ask an actor to read a hundred and twenty some pages aloud over the course of two plus hours.
I almost felt guilty. And yet it also felt so right and I hoped that he would say yes. He immediately said, ‘Of course.'

Despite the massive task, I'm pretty sure Hamill isn't the kind of guy to hold a grudge for having to read so many lines. In fact, I think he sincerely wouldn't mind since the Star Wars actor has been known for his voice-acting skills, most especially as The Joker in DC Comics' films, games, and TV series.

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Having Hamill read the script is also a good way to add an extra layer of emotion to the Star Wars experience.

Abrams said:

It was a way of having [him] be part of every scene, every moment, not just spiritually or thematically or narratively, butactually.Having his voice in it made the read through a better experience for everyone.

Mark Hamill will be appearing in Star Wars: Episode VIII, set for release in December 15, 2017.

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Read: Mark Hamill Promises To Show Star Wars: Episode VIII Secret