Mark Hamill promises Star Wars: Episode VIII zingers better than 'May the Force be with you'


Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has promised new film Episode VIII contains dialogue so good that fans will forget all about "May the Force be with you".

The actor, who shot to fame as Luke Skywalker in 1977, has just wrapped filming on the hotly anticipated sequel.

Mark Hamill, the lead actor in
Mark and his girlfriend in 1977 (PA)

Speaking to thousands of fans at Star Wars Celebration in London, he said: "I was looping Episode VIII yesterday and it has so many great catchphrases.

"Rian Johnson (the writer/director) is a genius. There is dialogue in there I can see on T-shirts. You will forget all about May The Force Be With You."

Director of the film Rian Johnson arriving at the gala screening of The Brothers Bloom
Rian Johnson (Yui Mok/PA)

Mark also denied that he was "insulted" that his part in Episode VII: The Force Awakens was so small.

In the seventh film, Luke is missing and although he is mentioned throughout, is only seen on top of a cliff in the last seconds of the film.

He said: "I wasn't insulted, I thought it was a great surprise. They didn't prepare me correctly though. I did all this training and went to the gym and then they said 'you're going to have to turn and remove your hood'."

He added: "I want to do movies now where I don't talk and I get second billing and am in it less than 30 seconds. It's literally a cliffhanger. I love the visual pun."

Mark Hamill, director Rian Johnson, Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge, actor John Boyega, producer Ram Bergman, Chewbacca, actress Daisy Ridley and producer Kathleen Kennedy pose during a tour of the Star Wars sets at Pinewood studios in Buckinghamshire.
Mark and Rian with Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge and and others stars and production crew of Episode VIII (Adrian Dennis/PA)

Mark, who answered questions from the crowd for an hour, deftly avoided revealing any spoilers about the parentage of Daisy Ridley's character Rey, which is a much-debated topic in the fan community.

After he momentarily forgot the name of Daisy's character, an audience member shouted out: "What's her last name?"

He replied: "I don't know," before adding: "It was a trick! I will get bewildered and blurt out inadvertent spoilers!"

Daisy Ridley attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere
Daisy Ridley (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Mark said he knew how much fans were hoping he would give away details of the new film, which is not scheduled for release until December 2017.

He said: "You're thinking 'give us a detail about Episode VIII, not a spoiler but a new character or a new sequence' and I know you will love the irony of the fact that I'm contractually forbidden to do that."

Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Stormtroopers attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere
Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Stormtroopers attending the Star Wars: The Force Awakens European Premiere (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The American actor confessed that even he finds the secrecy "really annoying".

He said: "There are no names on the call sheet, everyone has a number. You see it and think 'I love 22´s work, he's twice as good as 11´.

"But they are not doing it to annoy you, they want the surprise to be in the movie theatres and not on the internet. You don't want to know what you are getting for Christmas."

:: Star Wars Celebration takes place at the ExCel London Exhibition Centre all weekend and features a presentation on Star Wars standalone film Rogue One, cosplay competitions and screenings.