Star Wars actor, Mark Hamill, has reportedly suffered a near miss while climbing on a remote Irish island. According to the Daily Mail, it was during a Star Wars shoot on Skellig Michael, a small island off the coast of Kerry, that Hamill slipped and nearly fell. Mark, who is reprising his role of Star Wars character Luke Skywalker in the new films, was climbing the dangerous 600 steps when he slipped and was caught by his guide, an officer of the Office of Irish Public Works. Several people have died making the same climb in the past few years, so it is safe to say that the Star Wars star might very well have died if it weren’t for the quick thinking public servant.
It is thought that the scene being shot was for Star Wars VIII, the second in the new trilogy. The Mirror reported speculation that Skellig Michael and its 6th century UNESCO world heritage monastery might be where an ageing and disheveled Luke Skywalker has retreated to live a hermit-like existence. Prior to the shoot, Lucasfilm’s film notes seem to indicate a degree of concern about the Star Wars veteran’s safety on the mountainside.
“Our lead actor is in his 60s and less agile than most.”
Mark Hamill first appeared in Star Wars: A New Hope all the way back in 1977, when he was the tender age of 26. Hamill returns to the Star Wars franchise at the age of 63.
The shooting of the new Star Wars trilogy has been dogged with misfortune, with many referring to the existence of a Star Wars curse. Just recently, Star Wars actor Harrison Ford was injured when a version of the iconic Millennium Falcon space ship fell on him, crushing his leg and ankle. The use of the iconic Star Wars space ship and the return of the much-loved Ford to reprise his role as Hans Solo were revealed only days before the accident. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, first in the new Star Wars trilogy, was delayed for eight weeks while Ford recovered from surgery to brace his shattered leg with metal plates.
While there may or may not be a Star Wars curse, what is certain is that the old faces are just that – old. A 63 year old Hamill trying to play mountain goat and a 71 year old Ford in a studio with a 111-foot prop spaceship were probably always going to be a recipe for disaster. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens being one of the most hotly anticipated films of the franchise, we’ll just have to wait and see whether it’s been worth all this trouble and pain.
[Picture via Getty Images/Sascha Steinbach]