Prince William and Prince Harry have toured Pinewood Studios near London today, where the Star Wars movies are filmed. The princes were shown around by Star Wars leading lady Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in The Force Awakens. The royals also met a different kind of royalty; Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker himself, chatted with the brothers.
Hamill was just as thrilled to meet Prince William and Prince Harry as they were him. The bearded actor excitedly tweeted that he “finally [had] a chance to get an informed answer on whether being Leia’s brother makes me a Prince.” Along with Star Wars VIII director Rian Johnson, Hamill chatted with the royal brothers and even sat in the cockpit of an X-Wing with Harry.
The visit was “designed to recognise the wealth of British creative talent involved in the production of the Star Wars films,” reports the Telegraph. Prince William was invited in “his capacity as President of Bafta [British Academy of Film and Television Arts] while little brother Harry just wanted to ‘tag along.’”
Both Prince William and Prince Harry are “‘huge fans’ of Star Wars.” They were the envy of every Star Wars groupie today as they dueled with lightsabers, with “Harry turning to the Dark Side by choosing the weapon wielded by evil Kylo Ren in the most recent Star Wars film.”
William “played the role of the ‘goody’ by picking Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.” The princes had a blast as they got to act out in public a sword fight that they’ve probably been practicing since they were boys.
The Star Wars movies have a long association with the UK and Pinewood Studios. The original lightsabers were created by British set decorator Roger Christian and the “Oscar-winning costume designs were by John Mollo.” In addition, “the London Symphony Orchestra also helped record the score at the Abbey Road Studios in London.”
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer (the equivalent of the Treasury Secretary) George Osborne “actually has a credit at the end of the film for changing the rules on tax incentives in the UK which encouraged Disney and Lucasfilm to bring their production of it to the UK.” That is probably the most awesome thing Osborne’s kids think he has ever done.
Prince William and Prince Harry also met Ridley’s co-star in the latest Star Wars movie, John Boyega, who plays Finn. The princes particularly enjoyed the Creature Effects Room, notes the Daily Mail.
After Chewbacca gave Prince Harry a crushing bear hug, Hamill remarked with more than a hint of jealousy, “‘If I went towards royalty with my arms outstretched I would get arrested – but there’s something about a Wookie that means you just wanted to be hugged.’”
Prince Harry has made a new friend... pic.twitter.com/mTra1UoSMx— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 19, 2016
Harry has apparently bonded with Chewie; when William reached out to touch a model of the wookie, Harry shouted, “‘Whoooa, don’t touch that! He’s sacred! We must keep Chewie like he is.’”
As well as the lightsaber fight, the royals also had fun with the blasters — at least Harry did.
“Harry made a beeline for a storm troopers’ gun, which swivelled around as it shot. The prince tried to replicate the move but the gun collapsed, leaving Harry wailing: ‘Have I broken it? Have I broken it?’ ‘And here’s one we made earlier,’ teased his unsympathetic brother.”
William laughingly chided his brother again when he broke a “First Order” blaster, “It will take them weeks to mend.”
Prince William and Prince Harry have got a busy week ahead of them. Thursday will be filled with celebrations for the 90th birthday of their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. On Friday, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, together with Harry, will have President Obama and the First Lady to dinner at Kensington Palace. The Obamas will first have lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.
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