Mark Hamill saved by guide after slipping on dangerous Skellig Michael while filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Two tourists fell to their deaths on the rocky Irish island in 2009

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The Independent Culture

Harrison Ford was not the only actor to come a cropper while filming the new Star Wars movie. Mark Hamill, who returns to his original role as Luke Skywalker, narrowly escaped serious injury when he slipped on dangerous rocks.

The 63-year-old was shooting on hazardous Irish island Skellig Michael, where two tourists fell to their deaths in 2009, when he tripped and had to be saved by an Irish Office of Public Works guide, reports claim.

Visitors to the Unesco World Heritage sight must climb 618 jagged steps to reach a 6th century Christian monastery. There is a safety chain running along the most dangerous parts of the walk, but safety reviewers decided against railings as they would spoil the terrain.

Lucasfilm producers apparently signalled concerns for Hamill, writing in the film notes: "Our lead actor is in his Sixties and less agile than most".  The Times spoke to an eyewitness who said Hamill was almost "a goner" .

 

Hamill first appeared in Star Wars as the Jedi knight aged 26 in 1977. He returns to JJ Abrams' seventh instalment The Force Awakens along with fellow veteran cast members Ford and Carrie Fisher.

Filming was delayed when Ford, 71, broke his ankle after an accident involving a hydraulic door at London's Pinewood Studios.

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The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will reach UK cinemas on Thursday 17 December after its release date was brought forward by 24 hours.

Plot details have been kept secret but we do know that the storyline picks up 30 years after 1983's Return of the Jedi.

The movie is predicted to be a mammoth box office hit with its opening weekend take estimated at $615 million.

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