‘Star Wars’: How Much Money Did Mark Hamill Make From Playing Luke Skywalker?
You could say Mark Hamill is one of the greatest success stories of managing to rise above being typecast by doing notable things with his career beyond playing Luke Skywalker. Of course, all of the original Star Wars cast managed the same thing, but they probably didn’t think they’d revisit the characters years later.
Hamill was obviously shocked as much as fans were about playing an older Luke Skywalker again in the new Star Wars trilogy. He’s kept mum about how much money he’s made working in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and maybe a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker.
Is he being paid more now than when he played Luke 40 years ago?
How much was Mark Hamill paid for the original trilogy?
The amount the original Star Wars cast was paid in the first film back in 1977 was laughable compared to what their bankrolls are nowadays. According to most sources, Mark Hamill was paid $650,000 in ’77 for doing A New Hope. Considering that’s money terms from 42 years ago, this was a fairly good payday and lower seven figures in today’s dollars.
George Lucas clearly had a steady budget to work with thanks to his prior box office successes like American Graffiti. For Hamill, though, the initial fee wasn’t the end of the story. All the principle actors received one-fourth of a cent of the box office returns.
Hamill obviously made a decent amount from this alone when you add in the other two films up to 1984. With this kind of money, it’s no wonder he was able to do what he wanted with his career in later years.
Mark Hamill still paid his dues being pinned as Luke
Outside of making good money, Hamill could have been even wealthier had he managed to keep working in other live-action films like Harrison Ford. The latter was fortunate in diversifying his film acting cred, something you could say was due to being a slightly better actor.
Regardless, Hamill has always been underrated in his acting ability. Playing Luke seemed to set a stronger typecast scarlet letter than Ford playing Han Solo.
When you look at Hamill’s film career after the first Star Wars trilogy ended, it essentially fell flat. He had to reinvent himself as a voice actor, which he did successfully starting in the early 1990s.
Looking at those credits, he ultimately became one of the most in-demand voice actors of all time in various comic book animation projects. Playing the Joker in an animated Batman series gave him a chance to reinvent how fans perceived him. Even so, voice actors don’t get paid a fortune, or at least not in those days.
Mark Hamill initially didn’t want to do the new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, though it paid off
As enthusiastic as Hamill has been about the new trilogy and the positive fan response, some forget he hated the idea of going back. How could he resist, though, when the prospect was there of potentially making millions off the new trilogy and giving fans what they wanted?
According to official sources, he was paid a modest seven-figure salary to return in the last two films. Going by this, it means he’s still getting paid less than what other A-list actors receive.
Now he reportedly has a net worth of $12 million. Considering he’s one of the great icons of the big screen, this might seem like a small fortune than what Hamill really deserves.
After The Rise of Skywalker, we probably won’t see him in a Star Wars project again. Don’t say never about anything anymore, however, including an even higher payday someday once producers realize his real worth to pop culture.