It was March 22nd 1976 in the Tunisian desert. George Lucas had assembled a cast and crew to begin shooting on a little-known film called Star Wars. A 24-year-old unknown actor called Mark Hamill was dressed in all white as he readied himself to play Luke Skywalker – a young farmhand on Tatooine
As the crewed prepared to begin shooting, someone snapped a picture of young Hamill as he waited to step in front of the camera – and it’s a photo the actor has held onto ever since.
Taking to Twitter yesterday, Hamill finally shared it with his 1.7 million followers along with the caption: “Taken in Tunisia early morning Day #1 waiting for my 1st shot (emerging from home for robot auction)-Perhaps the very 1st #LukePic #SW.
In fact, that first week of filming went far from smoothly with director Lucas falling behind schedule in the first week thanks to malfunctioning props and rough weather, with Tunisia seeing its first winter rain in 50 years and sand and wind damaging sets and camera equipment.
But asked by one follower whether his young self was thinking “This is gonna be my big break” or “Crap, it’s early, dusty and way too bright”, Hamill recalled how he knew the film would be a hit, unlike the sceptical crew.
Released in 1977, A New Hope went on to gross $775 million worldwide and that naive young actor in the desert was catapulted overnight to global superstardom.