Like most of you, the first time I laid eyes on cover star Mark Hamill was when he was the boyish Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, restless on the planet Tatooine, and naïve enough to get ambushed by Tusken Raiders. I was at an age when I would have made the same mistake, and I was hooked. Of course, I went on to have a crush on Princess Leia and root for the Rebels, but Hamill was the guy who pulled me—and millions of others—into the story.
Sometimes, when you cherish a character, especially one so iconic, it’s difficult to fathom the man behind it, but Hamill welcomed senior editor Derrik Lang into his home, putzed around like a normal human being, made coffee, impersonated costars and talked quite candidly about grappling with how Luke has shaped his life, as well as Luke’s choices in this month’s latest installment, The Last Jedi.
Other stories that captivated me in this issue include an Italian pub hike in the Carso, where odd little taverns cater more to local farmers than to travelers, which is exactly why they’re special. And then there’s the awesome mom-and-pop doughnut shops of Los Angeles—I’ve often wondered how so many survive in the face of national chains. To find out, writer Andy Wang got to know the people and the unexpected stories behind their success.
You know what else really surprised me in this issue? Matthew Broderick’s personal essay about the emotional rollercoaster ride he had—at age six—when he spied his dad secretly setting up gifts on Christmas Eve. Let’s just say Broderick considers that Christmas morning to be his first stab at acting.
Enjoy the issue, and I hope your holidays are full of love and delight.