Dreams came true for one special little boy today. Eight-year-old Tommy Wilcox, who had been battling terminal cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, was a Star Wars superfan. So when he learned actor Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, not only agreed to meet him, but also to violently disembowel him with a green lightsaber like the one used in the movies, he couldn’t have been happier.
“We’ve had a tough time since his diagnosis,” his dad, Gary Wilcox said. “We’re so grateful to Mr. Hamill for making our son’s final moments so magical.”
Tommy even got a sneak peak of the upcoming film, The Last Jedi, something George Lucas himself agreed to share with the boy on the condition that Hamill slaughter him immediately after viewing.
Initially skeptical, Sara Wilcox, Tommy’s aunt, agreed it was touching moment, “You don’t expect movie stars to be so kind, and to do something so meaningful for someone in your family,” adding that she appreciated Hamill’s quick and decisive stroke as his lightsaber cleaved Tommy’s midsection.
Tommy’s family wanted to maintain the illusion for him that lightsabers are real, not merely an illusion created by movie professionals for the big screen. They worked closely with Hamill and Industrial Light and Magic, the company that created the special effects for the Star Wars films, to build a simulated version of the lightsaber for the occasion by attaching glow sticks to a machete. Tommy’s family members provided the whirring lightsaber sound effect as they gathered around the hospital bed at the moment of Hamill’s deadly blow.
Of the experience, Hamill said, “I’m thrilled to be able to give back to the fans who’ve given me so much. Tommy gave me something unique—the feeling of raw power you get cutting someone in half with the weapon of a Jedi. It’s something I will truly never forget.”