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What We Do in the Shadows' 'Vampire Jedi' Moment with Mark Hamill Wasn't Pre-Planned

“An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
“An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
Screenshot: FX

We’d watch the cast of our beloved What We Do in the Shadows read the dictionary, but fortunately the FX show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel was more lively than that—and brisk, clocking in at just over 30 minutes. One moment worth highlighting was when co-producers Stefani Robinson and Paul Simms discussed one of season two’s standout guest stars: Mark Hamill.

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Hamill pops up in episode six, “On the Run,” as Jim, a West Coast vampire who’s trying to collect a long-overdue debt from Laszlo (Matt Berry). Rather than cough up the cash, Laszlo flees Staten Island for Pennsylvania, where he masquerades as a jaunty bar owner. Eventually, he’s discovered, and the ensuing brawl gets heated around the pool table. Though the role was written specifically for Hamill—incredibly, that hilarious “lighsaber” moment wasn’t initially part of the script.

“That was one of those things that I think happened on set, if I’m not mistaken,” Robinson said. “It was the stunt coordinators who came up with it while they were rehearsing, and I think maybe it was a little bit of the director Yana [Gorskaya], who did an awesome job directing that episode. That was something that was designed for that specific space when they were sort of blocking it all out.”

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Simms added, “I think when we originally blocked it all out, we were just trying think of all the ways they could fight. We thought, ‘Oh, then maybe they’ll hit pool cues at each other.’ And then when it was on the day, and we were shooting it, and you saw Mark Hamill pick up the pool cue, everyone on set went ‘Oh my god!’”

Check out the rest of the panel—which also features cast members Matt Berry (Laszlo), Natasia Demetriou (Nadja), Kayvan Novak (Nandor), Mark Proksch (Colin Robinson), and Harvey Guillén (Guillermo), and is moderated by another season two guest star, Haley Joel Osment—below.


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DISCUSSION

As much as I love the cameos—Hamill was flat-out fun to watch—the Jackie Daytona persona in that episode was funny, delightful and revealed an interesting character. I wished it had lasted a couple of episodes at least.