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17 January 2020, 16:24 | Updated: 17 January 2020, 16:38
It’s been two decades since Mark Hamill last held his precious vinyl record, but now that’s all changed thanks to a local Arizona bookshop.
But now, two decades on, the legendary actor has been reunited with his precious collectible.
The incredible discovery came about after staff at an Arizona bookshop came into possession of the record and were keen to return the record to its rightful owner.
It was certainly a noble gesture; despite the Bookmans’ team knowing the album was worth large sums of money, its personalised autograph suggested it should only belong to the Return of the Jedi star.
Williams had gifted the record to Hamill ahead of the 1977 release of the first Star Wars movie, and had signed the sleeve with the inscription: ‘Dear Mark Hamill, May the Force always be with us.’
Over the years in life, things go missing. Meet the staff of @bookmansflag- They found & RETURNED a record signed for me by #JohnWilliams I hadn't seen since the early 90's. I'm so grateful to them & hope you consider spending lots & lots of $ at their store. Many thanks, Mar🐫 pic.twitter.com/OeNel8M36l— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 10, 2020
Amazingly, the 68-year-old actor wasn’t even aware the record was missing and believed it to still be in the basement of his California home, along with his other vinyl.
To celebrate its return, Hamill shared photos of his signed soundtrack and the staff at the store, adding the caption: “Over the years in life, things go missing. Meet the staff of Bookmans – they found and RETURNED a record signed for me by John Williams I hadn’t seen since the early 90s.
“I’m so grateful to them and hope you consider spending lots and lots of money at their store.”
John Williams, whose memorable scores range from Jaws and Jurassic Park to Schindler’s List and E.T., has just broken his own record for the most Oscar nods with a nomination for his Rise of Skywalker score, making him the most Oscar-nominated living person.
So, you can see why Hamill was pleased to get that signed record back.
He told Variety: “Aside from George Lucas, nobody deserves more credit for the success of Star Wars than John Williams.
“It’s indescribable, how he elevates every scene. He’s got to understand the emotion of the scene, the dynamics of whatever conflict we’re trying to portray, as deeply as an actor does.
“In a way, that’s even more complex. As an actor, you’re only one person, one instrument in the orchestra. He’s the entire cast.”
The first time Hamill heard the theme music for Star Wars, he was sat in a two-seat car with Gary Kurtz, the producer of the film.
In an interview with The New York Times, he said: “It was an unforgettable moment. Tears were rolling down my face. I could not believe how impactful it was.”
Since posting his story on Twitter, fans have been sharing their good wishes:
So proud of My local Bookmans. You guys already rock! I love that you could do this for one my most beloved actor. You win the internet and brighten up twitter! Way to share the #FlagLove— The Late Tweeter (@LuckeyBorn) January 11, 2020
That’s funny Mark because he signed mine in the exact same place in February’78 (after the @londonsymphony in Space concert) in the green room at the @RoyalAlbertHall after grumbling about the cover being “too black to do a signature”... pic.twitter.com/BhP61TR4QU— Dave Norris (@dave_norris) January 13, 2020
This is the kind of story we all need right now.— Edward Carney (@Edward_Carney) January 10, 2020
Well Mark, what a great way to start 2020. Faith in humanity restored.