Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our twentieth guest played Luke’s best pal Biggs Darklighter in A New Hope – Garrick Hagon.
Lightsabre – Garrick, welcome to Lightsabre.
GH – Hello and thanks. Good to be here.
Lightsabre – You’ve been in numerous productions, from Cry Freedom, Spy Game and Mission Impossible to Batman and A Bridge too Far, and yet you are probably most fondly remembered as Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars. How do you feel about that?
Lightsabre – Apart from you own episode, which of the other five films is your favourite, and why?
GH – The Empire Strikes Back has a very tight plot and brings out the best in all the actors. It’s dark and has impact. But I still like Episode 4 for the developing relationships.
Lightsabre – Tell us something of your career. How did you begin in entertainment and what led you to where you are today?
GH – Early on I played with Sir Alec Guinness in Richard III at the Stratford Festival in Canada and was a member of that company for 7 years during university. I also took over from ABC Newsman Peter Jennings when he was an 11-yr-old fledgling presenter at CBC, Toronto, on a weekly radio show for kids and kept acting on TV and Radio all through school. Stratford gave me a scholarship to study in England and I stayed here doing stage and film and whatever else has come along, and I’m grateful that there’s been lots of varied work.
Lightsabre – What has it been like to be a part of the Star Wars phenomenon?
GH – It’s been a great deal of fun and I’ve enjoyed the conventions that keep us in touch with so many of the original acting team and have met some wonderful people on the trips.
Lightsabre – We often hear funny stories from the sets of the movies. What memories do you have of being in that cockpit way back in 1976? Was George Lucas really saying “Faster, more intense” all the time?
GH – My best memories are not of the hot day in the X-Wing cockpit but of the vast Shepperton studio set for the hangar scene and the good times we had on location in Tunisia on the coast of Djerba with offset horse races down the beach and party nights. Maybe George said ‘faster, with more intensity’ to me but, even if he didn’t, it’s not bad advice for most parts.
Lightsabre – Your character Biggs has had a great fiction life beyond your portrayal of him in Star Wars. What is it about Biggs that has made him such a popular character in the Expanded Universe, and do you like to keep up with his exploits?
GH – I haven’t kept up with my extended family except for Gavin Darklighter who bears a strikingly similar name to my own, and is in fact the first name I chose for a character I played in a long series called The Adventurer which starred Gene Barry and Barry Morse.
Lightsabre – What would you change about your Star Wars experience if you could go back and do it again.
GH – Can’t think of a thing I would change, well, maybe I might have been smart to keep hold of the script or even a piece of costume.
Lightsabre – Biggs had a lot of scenes shot for the production, but ultimately they were trimmed to keep the story clipping along. Were you hopeful that more would be seen in the Special Editions and the DVD’s, or were you not surprised to see them missing?
Lightsabre – There’s talk of a Star Wars TV series. Would you be interested in a role, maybe as a relative of Biggs?
GH – Could I play his father? I think not, he looks too big in the pictures. Maybe his grandfather.
Lightsabre – What do you foresee in the future for yourself? Your reputation as an audio director is widespread, so is that an avenue you would wish to continue down?
GH – I still act, read books, the latest being the unabridged Huckleberry Finn and I am directing a full cast production of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass at the moment. And soon I hope to get back on stage.
Lightsabre – A quick question about our site. Any comments?
GH – A terrific site. Good Luck!
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest. Just one final question. Biggs Darklighter, Frank Oppenheimer and Eros from Anthony and Cleopatra are all entered into an arm wrestling competition. Which one would win and how?
GH – Frank was an intellectual, Biggs better in the cockpit, but Eros had muscle – he had to help carry the wounded Charlton Heston down the stairs to Cleopatra’s barge. So Eros wins!
This interview was originally posted on lightsabre.co.uk on 10th July 2005.