The Neighborswraps its first season on March 27 with a special episode featuring Star Wars' Mark Hamill and Star Trek's George Takei. Despite decades of fan conventions, the sci-fi legends' paths had never before crossed. "I apologized to George for not knowing Star Trek as well as most of the people who come up to him, and he thought that was a breath of fresh air," says Hamill, who was living with his family in Japan when Trek first aired on CBS.
But as a die-hard Neighbors fanatic, Hamill is pleased to help draw attention to the sitcom.
"It's a real shocking cliffhanger," he says. "So if they don't get a second season to resolve this, people are going to scream their heads off." (The once and possibly future Luke Skywalker acknowledges he may not be available to return next season if he reprises his role in the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: Episode VII.)
The far-out finale finds the aliens receiving a distress call from their home planet, Zabvron, sent by both Grandpa (Takei) and Commandant Bill (Hamill). Hamill describes his pompous official as "very self-important and constantly bickering." So in other words, a send-up of Star Trek skipper (and lifelong Takei rival) William Shatner? "I considered speaking with Shatner's pregnant pauses," says Hamill with a chuckle, "but it seemed too obvious."