An evening with Luke Skywalker

Ever wondered why Han Solo looks quite so pained in this shot? Well it’s not just because of fear of reprisals from Jabba the Hutt or being hit by a rare on target shot from a stormtrooper. The grimace of pain may actually have been a response to repeated trilling of The Kinks’ hit Supersonic by Luke Skywalker.

“It was so incongruous to have me, Han Solo, Sir Alec Guinness and a Wookie in the cockpit,” Mark Hamill, told a huge audience at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre this evening.

“I  kept singing Supersonic Rocketship, not for the obvious reason but just because it was just so crowded in the Millennium Falcon — Too many people side by side, Got no place to hide– Harrison was saying ‘Will you PLEASE stop singing that SONG.”

In an evening I can only describe as Fanception, a North London audience goggled at Star Wars Icon Mark Hamill whilst he interviewed and goggled at local Rockstar Ray Davies, his own hero. “The inner Fanboy is having a meltdown,” Hamill said.

I have always been a Luke fan so although the focus of the evening was supposed to be Davies, I was there for Hamill  who showed himself a witty, gracious interviewer with a surprisingly English line in self-deprecation.

“It’s very unplanned which I’m proving as I speak,” he said, going on to give a slick,  performance in which his in-depth knowledge of The Kinks contrasted starkly with Davies’s ignorance of Star Wars.

“I was surprised to find the bad guy was your father,” said Davies. “YOU were surprised,” replied Hamill. “Of all the screw up families, meet the Skywalkers, boy, and now I’ve got this nephew who’s like Hitler or something.”

My favourite anecdote of the night was Hamill’s a account of how actors always blame the writer for stage failures. He recalled a Broadway actor giving a performance of Hamlet so catastrophic, the audience were heckling and booing: “He told them ‘What the hell do your want from me? I didn’t write this s***!”

You don’t often get a chance to see your childhood idols and maybe sometimes that is a relief, in case they have feet of clay but what can I say? Luke Skywalker? The Force is strong with this one.


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