Mark Hamill Almost Died Filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII will began filming today at Skellig Michael, the same remote location that J.J. Abrams filmed scenes for The Force Awakens back in July and August of 2014. And according to the British newspaper The Times, the Irish island was almost the site of Mark Hamill's death.

The near-tragic accident reportedly took place only a few weeks after Harrison Ford's injury on set, but Hamill's event is just now being reported. What happened? Apparently, Hamill was climbing the treacherous steps -- there are 618 of them -- on his way to the 6th century hilltop monastery. The 63-year-old actor slipped and would have been a "goner" if not for a guide from the Irish Office of Public Works who caught him.

In 2009, the unforgiving terrain has claimed the lives of two American tourists -- in separate events. A safety chain was later added to the location where both tourists fell to their deaths.

(via Huffington Post)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters December 18, 2015