Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher became really close friends while filming and promoting the original “Star Wars” trilogy from the late 1970s to early 1980s. Though the two remained friends, Hamill admitted that their closeness died down a bit after those years. This is why Hamill couldn’t be more grateful when he reconnected with Fisher in 2014 while reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, respectively, in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Over the years, we’d talk on the phone or see each other at a convention, but we had lost that closeness we once had,” Hamill revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly days after Fisher’s death. “So coming back for ‘The Force Awakens’ was a real gift. We could reconnect in a meaningful way.”

Hamill said that Fisher had some reservations regarding revisiting her role as Princess Leia more than 30 years after playing the character in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”

“She was very open about how scary it was [to go back to the franchise] but I thought she looked fantastic, and so dignified,” the 65-year-old actor said of his costar. “We couldn’t be what we were before — running around the Death Star, bumping heads and swapping one-liners — but that’s life. And that’s what these stories deal with: Life and death, renewal and hope. Once we expressed our fear, we were able to embrace the experience, and it was easy to fall back into that energy we had before. I loved her guts and she drove me crazy. We really were like a brother and sister.”

Hamill expressed the same gratitude in his recent guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m grateful that we stayed friends and got to have this second act with the new movies,” the “Flash” actor wrote in his heartfelt tribute to Fisher. “I think it was reassuring to her that I was there, the same person, that she could trust me, as critical as we could sometimes be with each other.”

Hamill is set to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” which opens in theaters on Dec. 15. Fisher will also appear as Princess Leia in the movie, as she completed filming all her scenes in the Rian Johnson-directed flick before her passing.