SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - Street signs that honor "Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill were unveiled Sunday afternoon in Clairemont, where he went to middle and high school.
Hamill was recognized with signs in the 5900 block of Castleton Drive, at Mt. Abernathy Avenue, as part of the city's new honorary street naming program. Castleton Drive will remain the official name of the street, however.
"Hello Clairemont. I can't tell you how great it feels to be back in my old neighborhood," Hamill told the crowd. "To say that I'm grateful and honored would be an understatement."
Fans of all ages packed the streets to see the new sign and catch a glimpse of Hamill.
"It's awesome - I love it," said fan Charlotte Davidson. "When I heard it, I was like screaming."
Hamill was the son of a Naval officer and one of seven kids. He lived in the neighborhood for four years during the 1960s, and attended one year at Madison High School when his father ran the exchange at what was then Naval Air Station Miramar.
"I don't really have a home town, but if I could pick a home town it would certainly be San Diego," Hamill said to the roar of the crowd. "I loved living here."
San Diego was Hamill's longest stint anywhere while growing up, but then the family moved to Virginia and later Japan.
"When they first told me they were naming a street after me I thought they were pranking me," said Hamill. "Mind you it says 'honarary,' which is sort of like a qualifier - means I'm on probation, it could come down at any time."
Following the unveiling of the honorary street sign, and receiving a proclamation from Councilman Chris Cate declaring July 30, 2017 as Mark Hamill Day in San Diego, the actor took questions from the crowd.
He then waded into the crowd, signing autographs and taking photos with fans, some dressed as their favorite "Star Wars" character.
"Big fan of Mark Hamill - the number one Jedi in the universe - and we're here to see his street be named," said one fan dressed like Darth Vader.
Hamill was joined in San Diego for the unveiling by wife, his sons and daughter and two rescue dogs, and his sister Terry.
Hamill got some help from a San Diego Police officer in unveiling the sign; Hamill using a nightstick before using a light saber to take down the red cloth covering.