Do you want to like Mark Hamill even more? A wonderful untold story was recently shared of a time several years ago when Mark Hamill went out of his way to meet with a young terminally ill Star Wars fan who was dying of juvenile Batten's Disease.
A screenwriter by the name of Ed Solomon (Men in Black and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure), who has no connection to Mark Hamill at all, was asked by his friend, Joe Sikorra, to try and see if he could set something up with the actor. John, the child of Solomon's friend, was a huge fan of Star Wars and he just wanted to meet his hero Luke Skywalker.
It seemed like a long shot but Solomon called Hamill's agent and everything seemed to work out great, which is so cool! You can read the full moving story in the tweets below:
WHY I WILL LOVE @HamillHimself FOREVER (THREAD OF 4):— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) December 4, 2017
When a friend's son (who was, so tragically, dying from an incurable illness) made a wish: to meet Luke Skywalker, it fell on me -- the only person the dad knew who worked in the film business -- to make a call. 1/4
Not knowing Mark, I called his agent and explained that this lovely boy watched Star Wars every day and wanted to meet NOT Mark Hammill, but, rather, the actual CHARACTER that he played (the boy's own mental state had devolved past the point of being able to grok that... 2/4— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) December 4, 2017
He not only met with the boy, but spent hours answering question after question (sometimes the same ones repeatedly), AS "Luke." Even posting this now makes me teary. He was compassionate, kind, and patient. And it literally meant the world to this kid and his family. 4/4— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) December 4, 2017
I love that Hamill actually went to meet his kid in character as Luke Skywalker. Some actors don't like requests for meeting people in character like this, so the fact that Hamill took time out of his schedule to make this kid's dream come true was pretty incredible. In an interview with THR, Sikorra explained:
"Around 1998, my son, John, was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder called juvenile Batten's Disease (JNCL). The disease robs kids of their vision first followed by cognitive motor function. Typically kids die in their late teens, early 20s. It is a very complicated disease and most doctors aren't that familiar with it. So we lived in the moment, did as much as we could."
Solomon talked about his experience getting in touch with Hamill saying:
"I had never met Mark, but I called his agent and asked if this could happen. Mark's agent said, 'Please don't say anything to the boy because I don't want to get his hopes up.' And then, literally less than two minutes later, Mark calls and said, 'I would love to. How about tomorrow?' I started balling."
When talking about the visit, Sikorra shared:
"Mark was just super patient and kind. It was was one of those beautiful experiences. It is very humbling, this disease. You have got to let go of your normal expectations for you and your kids and family. In the midst of struggle and tragedy, it was those points of connection that makes you feel loved and less isolated. Mark was very kind, 'no rush, my time is your time.' "
"It was one of those very touching, moving things. And in that moment, it raised John up and made him feel good and important and loved."
Solomen went on to reveal that things went great and at one point the Sikorra's son John asked if he could also meet Princess Leia.
"So, Mark says are there any final questions, and John asks, 'Can I meet Princess Leia?' And Joe and I looked at each other and winced, and I remember Joe waving his arms to Mark, like you don't have to do this. And Mark said, 'I'll ask.' And Mark called me later that day and said 'Princess Leia would be happy to meet John.' I told her about the family. She got very emotional about the unfairness of things in life. And she said 'I only have two questions: Where and when?' Unfortunately, John's situation started to deteriorate pretty quick after that, so we couldn't meet up with Carrie. But Carrie had agreed to do it and that came through Mark."
John ended up passing away on September 24, 2015. He was 23.
Mark Hamill seems like an incredibly great guy. I love stories like this. The world has been filled with a lot of negativity these days, and a story like this combats that negativity and reminds us that there is good in the world. In fact, that's exactly why Solomon wanted to share this story.