Mark Hamill brought a new dark side to Wednesday’s episode of the FX series “What We Do in the Shadows.”
The “Star Wars” legend fluttered into Staten Island for a guest role as pale, cape-wearing Jim the Vampire. And the 68-year-old Luke Skywalker actor gave fans what may have been a brief, nostalgic nod to a memorable scene from 1980’s “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.”
In the episode, Hamill’s gray-haired vamp Jim arrived in NYC to get money owed him by fellow bloodsucker Laszlo (Matt Berry), his longtime nemesis who lives with a coven of quirky vampires in the borough. But before they could settle the debt in a duel, Laszlo escaped to a tiny town in Pennsylvania, where he took on the name Jackie Daytona and worked incognito as a bartender. Jim eventually tracked him down there, but after accepting payment in the form of what he is told is a unique artifact — a singing Big Mouth Billy Bass — he realized Laszlo had just swindled him with a cheap gag gift.
As the episode credits rolled — and in a moment that mirrored the iconic scene when Darth Vader told a young Skywalker, “Luke, I am your father” — Hamill tilted his head back and yelled in guttural fury. He realized he’d been duped — just as Luke had been lied to about his true paternity for years.
“Star Wars” devotees lit up Twitter in response to his cameo.
“The Force is truly with us,” tweeted one fan, while another called him “simply FANGtastic” as a vampire.
“The only thing better than What You Do in the Shadows is Mark Hamill on What We Do in the Shadows,” said one Twitter poster. Another added a wish for Jim the Vampire to strike back again in a future episode, writing, “Here’s hoping that @HamillHimself’s character isn’t a one and done.”
Hamill also had a fan in his family. His son, Nathan, 40, tweeted touching praise: “My Dad, the Vampire. My favorite role of his since that guy in space.”
And the elder Hamill, who is a fan of the show, also live-tweeted during the episode, saying, “They are one of my all-time favorite ensembles in comedy.” He also marveled at his own vampire-worthy emergence in his first scene. “Every actor appreciates a good entrance, & this was a GREAT one, even though it took a harness & wires to get it done,” he wrote.
He paid extra tribute to Colin Robinson (played by Mark Proksch), the vampire who bores people to get energy instead of draining their blood. “Colin Robinson is one of my favorites. The concept of an Energy Vampire is unique to this show,” Hamill tweeted. “Boring people to death to drain them of their life essence? I think we ALL have met many of these types over the years waiting in lines or at the DMV.”
“What We Do in the Shadows” also stars Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillen and Kayvan Novak.
Hamill reprised his longtime sci-fi character in the latest J.J. Abrams-directed franchise film, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which premiered May 4 — aka “Star Wars Day” — on Disney Plus. It also stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and the late Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia opposite Hamill in the original trilogy.
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