Mark Hamill bids emotional farewell to Star Wars saga

The letter was included in The Rise of Skywalker box set, which has been released in the U.S.

Mark Hamill has bid an emotional farewell to the Star Wars saga after 40 years of playing Luke Skywalker.

In a heartfelt letter accompanying the release of The Skywalker Saga box set, the actor recalled his audition for George Lucas' original sci-fi trilogy alongside Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as he reflected on his role as the Jedi hero.

"What an extraordinary journey it's been," Hamill wrote. "Back in 1976 when Carrie, Harrison, and I were testing for our roles in what was then called 'The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars,' there's no way we could have known what an incredibly rich and imaginative set of adventures this obscure little space movie would launch inspiring eight more chapters to tell the entire Skywalker story."

He continued: "I am deeply thankful for your continued enthusiasm and dedication to George's faraway galaxy, which will continue to grow with new storytellers building an even bigger galaxy filled with heroes, villains, action, romance, and, of course, the Force. May the Force be with you... always."

Hamill shared the letter on social media to mark the release of The Skywalker Saga box set, and wrote: "A few thoughts as one era ends and another begins...#StarWars."

The 68-year-old first played Luke Skywalker in 1977's A New Hope and the two follow-ups, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He then reprised the role for 2015's The Force Awakens and made his final appearance in last year's The Rise of Skywalker.

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