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.
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.