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Mark Hamill Revisited "Star Wars" For A One-Night-Only Live Performance

The former Luke Skywalker played Obi-Wan Kenobi and Emperor Palpatine in the Film Independent Live Read of The Empire Strikes Back alongside Jessica Alba, Aaron Paul, J.K. Simmons, and Ellen Page.

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Jason Reitman, Stephen Merchant, Dennis Haysbert, Ellen Page, Jessica Alba, Aaron Paul, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Pollack, and Rainn Wilson at the Film Independent Live Read: The Empire Strikes Back at Ace Hotel on Dec. 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Araya Diaz / WireImage

Jason Reitman, Stephen Merchant, Dennis Haysbert, Ellen Page, Jessica Alba, Aaron Paul, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Pollack, and Rainn Wilson at the Film Independent Live Read: The Empire Strikes Back at Ace Hotel on Dec. 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

The Film Independent Live Read of The Empire Strikes Back was already off to a great start on Dec. 18 at Los Angeles' Ace Hotel with curator Jason Reitman having assembled a stellar cast: Aaron Paul (Luke Skywalker), Ellen Page (Han Solo), Jessica Alba (Princess Leia), J.K. Simmons (Darth Vader), Dennis Haysbert (Lando Calrissian), Stephen Merchant (C-3P0), Kevin Pollak (Yoda), and Rainn Wilson (Chewbacca) .

But when Reitman announced that Star Wars icon Mark Hamill would read the roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Emperor Palpatine, everyone inside the Ace Hotel's 1,600-seat theater leapt to their feet for a deafening standing ovation that lasted several minutes.

In addition to that sensational bit of stunt casting — the room roared when Hamill, as Palpatine, said, "We have a new enemy: Luke Skywalker" — tasking Page with bringing to life the uber-macho Solo was a stroke of genius.

When the stage direction, which Reitman read, described the intensity of Han and Leia's kiss — "She has never been kissed like this before, and it almost makes her faint" — Page triumphantly thrust her hands above her head as the crowd cheered.

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