Mark Hamill, better known as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movie franchise, gave fellow actor Adam Scott a belated birthday surprise during Scott’s May 4 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Scott, a supporting star of HBO’s Big Little Lies and a self-proclaimed Star Wars superfan, was visibly moved by the gesture from Hamill, who presented Adam with a special gift — a green lightsaber, the weapon of choice for Jedi knights.
Guest host Kristen Bell, the voice actress for Princess Anna in the Disney animated film Frozen, was filling in for Kimmel who was at home spending some much-needed time with his family after his newborn son underwent heart surgery. Asking about his Star Wars superfan status, Bell prompted Scott to revisit a story that he told on a previous Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance.
The story that the Parks & Rec cast alum told was a childhood memory about a birthday gathering that a Luke Skywalker-enamored young Adam Scott had written a very special invitation for.
“I wrote [Mark Hamill] a letter and asked him to come to my birthday party,” Scott remembers. “I thought at least if he got it and he was able to – if his schedule was clear – he was probably gonna come. He didn’t show up. I remember not being like crushed or anything, it was fine. I knew he must have been incredibly busy.”
Moments later, as he continued his story, Scott was cut off mid-sentence when the Star Wars theme music started playing in the studio. A bewildered Scott turned to see none other than Mark Hamill himself walking through the doors onto the stage, complete with a lightsaber blazing. A noticeably star-struck Adam blurted out “No f**king way!” as Hamill handed him the lightsaber as a gift, gave him a hug, and took a seat next to him on the set. Hamill then offered Scott an apology 37 years in the making.
“I’m sorry I missed your birthday,” Mark said, and then explained his absence at Scott’s celebration so long ago. “I was checking my diary, and that week I had two other birthdays, a bar mitzvah, and a supermarket opening, so…”
Scott, who had originally thought his appearance on Kimmel was going to focus only on his role in Big Little Lies, wasn’t too embarrassed to let his inner superfan get the best of him. He looked directly at Hamill and declared, “This really is one of the best moments of my life.”
The timing couldn’t have been any better — every year, May 4 is celebrated around the globe as Star Wars Day, when fans all over the world express their love for the Lucasfilm science fiction magnum opus by encouraging each other to resist the temptations of the Dark Side with a punny “May the Fourth be with you.”
The Star Wars series is one of the most successful movie franchises in the history of film, beginning with the first release, A New Hope, in 1977. Mark Hamill’s role as Luke Skywalker propelled him to fame, as millions of people around the world watched the iconic struggle of a young man fighting against the forces of evil, depicted as Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine as the Sith Masters of the Dark Side. The success of Star Wars has led to numerous spinoff movies, animated television series, extensive fan-created fiction and characters, worldwide conventions, and over $12 billion in merchandise sales.
But, for a lot of people, Star Wars isn’t just an epic story about good vs evil, or a cool movie series with amazing special effects. For some, Star Wars is about a lifetime of devotion and joy. And for a superfan like Adam Scott, there’s no better way to celebrate May the Fourth than with a surprise from Mark Hamill.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]