Luke Skywalker didn’t just magically appear on that island in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Mark Hamill has to put the hours in for those Ahch-To scenes in, especially when it came to filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As it turns out, as revealed in an interview with our sister publication SFX magazine, he also had to do a fair amount of walking up inclines and cliffsides – with the added safety of having a mountain guide to stop him meeting a steep, untimely end.
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“When I first read the script, I thought they’d do it on green screen,” Hamill says. Not so, as he reveals: “Then they said they wanted to go to a real location…”
The Ahch-To scenes were filmed on the peak of Irish island Skellig Michael, which involved a fair amount of walking up steps and it was a killer on the legs for Hamill: “I said ‘How long are you allowing the crew to get up the hill.’ They said, ‘45 minutes.’ I said, ‘Give me an hour and a half.’ I had to stop every 100 steps because they’re not normal steps – they’re stone, and it’s up and up and it never ends.”
It could have been a killer for Hamill, too, if he wasn’t careful. Thankfully, a helping hand was provided as everyone went (way) above and beyond whilst filming, as Hamill explains, “They had this big mountain climber guide behind me to catch me in case I stumbled and fell. If I fall off the cliff and die, the insurance would go crazy – let’s face it, I’m an investment!”