Mark Hamill, the Hollywood legend best known for his role as Luke Skywalker, opened Gibraltar’s new Skywalk tourist attraction yesterday morning, ‘cutting’ a ribbon on the glass platform with a lightsaber.
Flanked by two Stormtroopers from the Boogie Storm dance troupe, Mr Hamill declared: “May the Force be with the Skywalk.”
The image of Luke Skywalker standing on a glass platform against the iconic backdrop of the Rock of Gibraltar was widely circulated on social media yesterday.
It was almost like something out of a Star Wars movie, as the actor himself acknowledged.
“You certainly have the beauty that you need,” Mr Hamill, a first-time visitor to Gibraltar, said when asked if the Rock might qualify as a set location.
He drew a parallel to Skellig Michael, the rocky outcrop off Ireland where scenes for two of the Star Wars franchise movies – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi – were filmed.
“It has the advantage of a 360 degree view, you see Africa, you see Spain, it is breath-taking really.”
And he joked: “Unlike Skellig Michael you can drive to the top of the Rock, which is much appreciated.”
Mr Hamill formally opened the Skywalk in the presence of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, the Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis, Deputy Governor Nick Pyle, Environment Minister Dr John Cortes, the Head of the Department of the Environment Dr Liesl Mesilio-Torres, Environment Officer Stephen Warr and other dignitaries including architect Jonas Stahl from Arc Design and Martin Platenkamp from Koala the project manager for the Skywalk.
Also present were the actor’s wife Marilou and their daughter Chelsea.
“This is a very special day indeed,” Mr Picardo said, recalling that when he was told Gibraltar was to open something called the Skywalk, the movie Star Wars came to mind and in particular the character of Luke Skywalker.
“[It’s] the power of entertainment and how a movie like Star Wars goes around the world,” Mr Picardo said as he introduced guests to Mr Hamill at a reception in the Mons Calpe Suite at the Top of Rock.
“Whatever your culture, your nation, you have an infinity to some of the moral themes that run through that movie and with the characters of that movie.”