I interviewed Carrie, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill back when the first Star Wars was released. Roger Ebert gave me a huge press premiere ticket that almost put me off going to see it — as I recall, it was a gigantic Millennium Falcon or something of the sort. So I thought it was going to be some kind of kid’s movie. But I was enthralled by both the film and the young stars of it, who were absolutely hilarious and completely convinced that they would survive if nothing ever came of their big space adventure.

Ford — a bit older than the other two I believe — reminded me that he was a damned good carpenter and could happily return to that, and I enjoyed his candor and sassy sang froid. Hamill was less rambunctious than the other two, but Carrie kept up with all antics and had clever comebacks for every quip. I wish I remembered it all, but it’s been decades. I do remember being so impressed that I couldn’t wait to get back to the Features Dept. to tell Ebert all about them after I’d made my deadline, something that I rarely did after interviewing celebs. They weren’t celebs yet, of course but as their fortunes rose with the “franchise,” I was delighted. I felt they deserved it…

Award-winning former features reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and Arizona Daily Star, HuffPo contributor and author.

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