‘Star Wars’: Why Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker Will Always Be a Fan Favorite
Sure, Harrison Ford starred in more than one gigantic franchise, and Carrie Fisher was born of Hollywood royalty, being the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.
But when it comes to interacting with fans, there’s no one quite like Mark Hamill.
Luke Skywalker: The good sport
Ever since Luke Skywalker trotted across the desert and whined to his uncle, “But I was going to the Tosche station to pick up some power converters,” Hamill made himself instantly relatable to every kid who wanted to go out and have fun before those uptight authority figures held them back. What’s more fun, fighting the Galactic Empire or working moisture vaporators?
From almost the very beginning, the actor kept a good sense of humor. He remembered thinking way back in 1977, “To my right is one of the most venerated actors of the 20th century, Sir Alec Guinness [who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy], to my left is an 8-foot guy in a dog costume wearing headphones.”
Even after Star Wars transformed from a mere hit to an international phenomenon, Hamill kept a cool head. After all, he was the one who hosted The Muppet Show, not only as Luke Skywalker, but as his wayward cousin Mark Hamill. And that was exactly what the actor wanted.
Muppet performer Dave Goelz told Star Wars Insider “he was rightfully concerned about being identified forever as Luke Skywalker, so for that reason, they wrote a dual storyline. Our whole stance was, we wanted guest stars to be able to do what they wanted to do.”
Voices outside of ‘Star Wars’
Unlike Ford and Fisher, Hamill didn’t land many well-known movies outside of the galaxy far, far away. He was more content to stay off camera and behind a microphone working as a voice actor. He was doing that even before Star Wars, having worked in Hanna Barbera cartoons. After Star Wars, He became particularly well known for giving life to the Joker in the Batman animated series.
“What I liked about doing the Joker was his villainy. I thought, you know, I could use this laugh almost as a vocabulary. Instead of having it be one continuous laugh, I could use it like color on a canvas. There could be sinister laughs, there could be joyful, gleeful, maniacal laughs, there could be malevolent and evil laughs. There are so many different colors that you can give him, so that kids will have more than one laugh to mimic on the playground. I do have to thank the people at Batman, because this work opened up an entire new career for me.”
The actor has continued to pursue voice work, having only last month announced he would be the new voice of Chucky in a remake of Child’s Play.
Fire Luke Skywalker?
Fans who have interacted with Mark Hamill know he loves to troll fans wondering what the significance of any given Star Wars project. And that’s only going to ramp up with the recent release of the teaser trailer for Episode IX, cryptically titled The Rise of Skywalker.
Luke is heard but not seen in the trailer, so is he the one rising? Is Rey a Skywalker after all? Or is Skywalker the new word for Jedi?
Hamill isn’t telling, even if he is teasing. And apparently that doesn’t sit well with some of the folks at Disney.
“I love to tease the fans online,” he said on a recent appearance with Seth Meyers. “It drives them crazy. I’m sure Disney is not happy about it, but what are they gonna do, fire me? It’s too late. How can you not have fun with it, though? People say what was it like doing those movies, and we just laughed all day long.”