Because filming for Episode VIII began this week, a new story is picking up steam on the internet that says Mark Hamill almost fell to his death while filming The Force Awakens. But is it true? Before you go clicking and sharing the sensationalist sounding story that shows up in your feed, consider the source of it.
For those in the US, the Daily Mail and the Mirror might just look like UK-based websites. But these are the equivalent of supermarket tabloids in the US. If the National Enquirer had a cover that said Mark Hamill nearly fell to his death, would you believe it? Of course not, you’d laugh at it before paying for your groceries. But since the Daily Mail and Mirror aren’t not seen that way in the US, people take their Mark Hamill story and spread it around social media, causing it to go viral…even if it may or may not be true.
Whether or not the story is true is meaningless when the timing is brought into play. If this had happened last August, as the tabloid story claims, then why is it coming out just now? Likely because of the filming taking place at Skellig Michael and these UK tabloids were desperate for some kind of story they could link to the current events. So they come up with a story of Hamill nearly falling to his death, to try to create a narrative of a Star Wars “curse” following Harrison Ford’s accident.
That accident is another example of a UK tabloid story going viral in the US. When it happened, a tabloid claimed it was the door of the Millennium Falcon that fell on Ford. People took that sensationalist story and ran with it, because the truth of a hydraulic door falling on him isn’t as exciting as blaming the Millennium Falcon for his injury.