One evening a long time ago, Mark Hamill sat in an early screening of "The Empire Strikes Back." Suddenly, as a crucial plot point was revealed, from a neighboring seat Harrison Ford whipped around and exclaimed, "I didn't know that!" Ford, who played Han Solo alongside Hamill's Luke Skywalker, hadn't been apprised of the fact that Darth Vader was Luke's father until he saw it onscreen for the first time.
As Hamill recounted the story in a Reddit AMA chat on Wednesday, he revealed he was the third person on the planet to learn what was arguably the biggest movie spoiler of all time. "[Director] Irvin Kershner brought me aside and said, 'I know this, George [Lucas] knows this, and you'll be the third person who knows. If it goes out we'll know you leaked it,'" the 62-year-old typed speedily online. "I was terrified of being the one to ruin it."
Unlike one of Quentin Tarantino's script readers, Hamill stayed tight lipped. "I'm worried about Episode VII," he admitted of the upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed continuation. "They're going after casting sheets! I'm someone who doesn't want to know what I'm getting for my birthday."
Hamill went full disclosure, answering dozens of fan questions, revealing details on a deleted scene (that only superfans know of), and even getting buddy-buddy with Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who dipped into the chat. Here are nine awesome "Star Wars" truths revealed by Hamill on Wednesday:
1. The Blue Milk of Luke's Home Planet Is Nasty.
It was ghastly! ... It's moments like that when I think, boy, I really am a good actor since I didn't gag. ... I don't know if they still make it. It's sweet and syrupy and yucky. If you want to try it go to a camping store and drop some blue food coloring in it and there you go.
2. Luke's Pants Got Too Pricey.
I kept something from each film. From the first I kept my boots. ... I kept the Stormtrooper helmet that I rescued Princess Leia in. ... I would never think of selling these things. I saw they were auctioning my pants from the first film for $44,000 [$36,000 U.S.]! They were just bleached out Levis with the pockets ripped out. There were multiples made for me and my stunt double. That seemed like a really steep price.
3. Hamill May Post Some Good Ol' 'Star Wars' Pics, Too!
[To Peter Mayhew, who joined the chat:] I loved those pictures you released! I've got a ton of old pics from the set upstairs that I want to go through now.
4. Can Luke Protect Us All From the Anti-Christ?
The strangest [fan encounter] was a cab driver who kept telling about the anti-Christ and how Luke was blocking Darth Vader's path to taking over the world. He wanted me to help out somehow. I wasn't exactly sure how, but he was very passionate about it.
5. Pick Your Favorite Lightsaber Color.
I just worked with Samuel L Jackson and he reminded me he had a purple lightsaber, which nobody had. I thought that was cool that he got his own color. My favorite is green, I'm happy with what I had. You don't need to give me lavender or raw umber or whatever. [Luke had both green and blue lightsabers.]
6. Ewok-AT-AT Battle Scenario, Decided.
[One fan asked, "Would you rather fight 100 Ewok sized AT-AT's or 1 AT-AT sized Ewok?" Here's Hamill's answer:] Probably the one AT-AT-sized Ewok, because you'd probably have a better chance, if you had a 100 little things they could swarm all over you like ants on a glob of honey.
7. Curious Cos-Player.
I... got inside a Bantha, those creatures that were outside the cantina. The inside of it was pasted over with newspapers and glue to give it substance. I thought, "This is really odd." I also got inside of Jabba [the Hutt], which was like a sauna bath, because it's like a big rubber enclosure. All the puppeteers had gone to lunch and I wondered, "I wonder what it's like in there."
[Related: 15 Frenzy-Worthy Films of 2015]
8. Deleted Scene!
There was a scene at the beginning of the first movie that was cut out. When you're first introduced to [Luke] he's on the farm and he sees the robots. When R2 and C-3PO eject, he races to the club, and you see what his life is like on Tatooine. This beautiful actress calls him wormy. I loved it bc [sic] you saw that he wasn't well liked by his peers, and he bumps into Garrick Hagon, and Luke is really excited bc he has joined the empire, and Luke is so anxious to get off the farm and find his lot in life. He's thrilled that Biggs has joined the Empire, and feels as soon as he'd get the chance he'd join the rebel alliance. This shows that Luke is apolitical, and joining the empire is even attractive to him. They changed to get to the plot faster, so now it goes straight to the 4th [sic] scene. The only place you can see it is the novelization of the screen play. With all the tweaking and adaptations, why not put it in to add detail to the story that's not there?
9. Yoda Love
I never thought of him as weird. He was unexpected because the audience and Luke both thought a Jedi Master must be 6'5" with a formidable physical presence. But that was the whole point, he was a little toad like creature.
Follow me on Twitter (@meriahonfiah)