Mark Hamill marvels at 11-year-old amputee’s new bionic ‘Star Wars’ arm

The Force is now part of Bella forever.

A young Florida amputee became the envy of “Star Wars” fans after she received an R2-D2-themed bionic arm and a call from Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, congratulating her on the nifty new appendage.

It was wonderful talking with Bella & seeing her incredible new #R2D2HeroArm– This is what a real-life hero looks like!” Hamill, 68, tweeted Thursday

Tallahassee’s Bella Tadlock, 11, successfully raised $14,000 for a bionic “Hero Arm” by Bristol, UK-based Open Bionics, which has been permitted by Lucasfilm to give its bionic limbs “Star Wars”-themed makeovers. The young Star Warrior’s campaign was aided by Mark Hamill himself, who retweeted word of the fundraiser to his 3.6 million fans this past November, reports the Independent.

It seems Luke Skywalker’s endorsement paid dividends. Bella became the first person ever to get outfitted with a multi-grip bionic arm modeled after her favorite character, R2-D2, which she was able to show off to Mark Hamill during a heartwarming Skype call.

“Oh wow, that is fantastic,” exclaimed Hamill as Tadlock used her spiffy prosthetic to flash her hero the “OK” symbol and unscrew a water bottle. He added, “I’m so happy that you were able to have this happen for you.”

“They call it a ‘Hero Arm’ because you really are a hero,” the space opera star continued. “May the Force be with you always.”

Last December, Hamill memorably shouted out UNC Charlotte student Riley Howell, who was made an honorary Jedi after valiantly sacrificing his life to protect classmates from a mass shooter in May 2019.

Tadlock’s “Hero Arm” is more than just aesthetically pleasing — the cutting-edge contraption functions by detecting signals from muscles in the residual limb. As a result, Bella is able “to ride my bike, create in the kitchen and be like my friends,” she says. The “Star Wars”-loving student adds, “To be able to bend my fingers and pick things up is a dream come true.”

Her mother, Pamela Tadlock, called the R2-D2-themed attachment “completely life-changing” for Bella, who was born without fingers on her right hand and with her left arm shorter than her right. And while multiple procedures provided the superfan with three fingers and a thumb on her right hand, she wanted a non-surgical solution for her left hand.

“Now she has a hand, with no surgery and no pain,” gushed her proud mom, who adopted Bella at only a few weeks old. “I’m so grateful to Open Bionics and Hanger Clinic.”



Bella Tadlock demonstrates the dexterity of her “Hero Arm.”




Mark Hamill Skypes Bella to congratulate her on the new appendage.

Open Bionics



Open Bionics’ mantra is “We turn disabilities into superpowers.”



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Pamela found the operation particularly significant as Luke Skywalker “also lost a hand and was adopted like her.” In “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back,” Skywalker received a similar transplant after having his hand sheared off by Darth Vader during their epic saber duel.

Open Bionics co-founder Samantha Payne seconded mom’s sentiment: “It’s fantastic that Mark Hamill, who is a role model to limb-different children worldwide, is so proactive in letting these kids know that they have the admiration and support of one of the galaxy’s biggest heroes.”

“I now have two hands — I am so excited,” says Bella.

This isn’t the first time “Star Wars” has lent an amputee a hand. In 2016, a 9-year-old Omaha, Nebraska, boy received a 3-D-printed prosthetic arm from a “Star Wars” fan organization dedicated to charity work.

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