How can one man embody the Galaxy’s great hero
and Gotham’s ghastliest villain?
This is the Evolution of Mark Hamill.
Luke Skywalker made Hamill a household name,
but his outer space adventures are only half of the story.
Throughout his career,
the actor has owned some of pop culture’s most iconic roles
but things started slowly during the early years
Hamill was born in California in 1951
but he didn’t stay there for long
As the son of a U.S. Navy Captain, his family moved constantly.
He attended nine schools in ten years,
and by the time he’s graduated from Hamil, he actually lived in Japan.
Mark moved to LA at the age of 17, working various odd jobs
and living in an old gardener’s shed for $55 a month
as he tried to make it in Hollywood.
His first paying role was a guest spot on a 1970’s Bill Cosby series,
and from there, he landed bit parts on various shows,
including “The Partridge Family”
a 9-month stint on “General Hospital”
and a co-starring role in a short-lived sitcom called “Texas Wheele”
”This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of
getting all dressed up to bury a duck.”
Hamill was slowly but surely finding success in the world of television
but his big screen debut made him a megastar overnight
thanks to a little movie called Star Wars
When Mark Hamill first heard about
the casting call for an upcoming sci-fi fantasy flick,
he was 26 years old
and crashing on his friend and fellow actor Robert Englund’s couch.
Englund, who would later become an icon of his own as Freddy Krueger,
had auditioned for Han Solo.
Sadly, he didn’t get the part,
but he suggested that Mark should try out
for the role of an idealistic farmboy named Luke.
“but I was going to Tosche Station to pick up power converters”
‘Star Wars’ changed the way movies are made and marketed,
and its global success made Hamill a household name overnight,
but he almost didn’t live to see it.
Five months before the movie was released
Hamill was involved in a serious car accident.
His nose and cheekbones were shattered
requiring surgery to repair the damage,
and forever altering the face that millions of fans would look up to.
You can see the difference in the ‘Star Wars Holiday Special,’
and ‘Corvette Summer’, the box office bomb.
He starred in immediately after ‘A New Hope.’
When it came time for the Empire to Strike Back,
the movie actually incorporated his accident into the script,
with a fierce Wampa attack
to explain Luke’s changed appearance.
His earnest performance as the archetypical hero
continued to thrill fans in ‘Return of the Jedi,’
and after the original trilogy ended,
you’d think he would have become a leading man
like his co-star Harrison Ford.
Well, that didn’t happen,
because Hamill became a victim of Hollywood Typecasting
‘Star Wars’ transformed Hamill into a teen icon,
but fame was a double-edged sword.
For years after the original trilogy,
studios were reluctant to cast him
as anything but a babyfaced hero.
Luke Skywalker hounded him for years
and, frustrated by the lack of meatier roles,
Hamill turned his attention to Broadway,
where he appeared in stage productions of ‘ The Elephant Man, ’
and replaced Tim Curry as Mozart in ‘Amadeus.’
When the latter play was adapted to film in 1984,
Mark was eager to reprise the role onscreen,
but a Hollywood executive flatly refused, saying
“I don’t want Luke Skywalker in this film.”
The only roles available to him were on TV shows,
like ‘The Flash,’ or in cult sci-fi films
like‘Midnight Ride’ and ‘The Guyver,
“I want you to like me.”
“Then why are you doing this to me?”
“Laura, I’m not going to hurt you.
Just don’t run away from me, ok…Promise!”
别离开我 好吗 答应我！”
a far cry from the global phenomenon of ‘Star Wars.’
Hamill eventually realized that
people couldn’t see him as Luke Skywalker
if they couldn’t see him at all
so he took his face out of the equation
and tried his hand at voice acting
Hamil has actually experimented with boys of world before ‘ Star Wars,’
in Ralph Bakshi’s 1977 film ‘Wizards,’
but he wouldn’t land the role that made him an icon until 1992,
where he appeared in another masterpiece
that changed the course of pop culture: ‘Batman:The Animated Series’
Ironically, Hamill wasn’t the first choice to play the Joker.
Originally, Tim Curry was cast to play Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime,
but after a bout of bronchitis,
Hamill stepped in to replace him,
just like he did in‘Amadeus’ nearly a decade earlier.
Hamill made the role his own,
with his over-the-top, cackling performance
that perfectly blended merriment and menace.
“They used to kid me
because I was the only one who would stand up.
And I just thought to
energize the character, to shake my fist
and I felt I’ve got to stand up.”
For a lot of people, Hamill is the Joker,
and for nearly 25 years he continued to portray the character
throughout cartoons, animated movies, and the ‘Arkham’ video games.
Since he began as Joker,
Hamill has become one of animation’s most prolific voice actors,
but he especially relishes playing the bad guy.
He went on to voice supervillains across several different shows,
from the Hobgoblin in ‘Spider-Man,’ to
reprising his live-action role as the Trickster
in ‘Justice League: Unlimited.’
After his resurgence, Hamill re-embraced his status as a geek icon,
appearing in cameos on ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Third Rock from the Sun’
and a memorable turn as ‘Cock Knocker’
in Kevin Smith’s ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.’
“Why do they call you Cock Knocker?”
“Actually there’s a funny story behind that.
[laughs]”You’re gonna love this; True story.”
Hamill isn’t just an actor
he’s an honest-to-goodness nerd.
and if you need proof of his cred,
just check out his sole directorial effort:
the 2004 mockumentary ”Comic Book The Movie”
a love letter to fandom
that gave many of his fellow voice actors
a chance to shine in front of the camera.
Hamill’s career could have ended here,
as a beloved but mostly irrelevant pop culture relic
but in 2015, Hamill faced his biggest challenge yet:
Stepping back into the role that both made and cursed his career,
giving the galaxy a renewed hope
After Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012,
they went full steam ahead on production
of the long-awaited’Star Wars’ sequel trilogy
But first, they had to convince Mark Hamill
to pick up the lightsaber once again.
George Lucas himself approached the actor, just before the deal was sealed,
and initially, Hamill was reluctant to return to the galaxy far, far away.
He eventually agreed after hearing
that Harrison Ford would also be involved
because he didn’t want to be the only holdout.
Hamill grew a beard and lost 50 pounds
to play the older, grizzled Luke
even though he only appeared on screen
at the very end of ‘ The Force Awakens’
‘The Last Jedi’ gave him a much meatier role,
but after living with Luke for 40 years
Hamill had his own strong opinions on the character.
He initially disagreed with director Rian Johnson’s
decision to make Luke a broken, jaded man,
but whether you loved or hated ‘The Last Jedi,’
Hamill’s powerful performance
helped ease the loss of the beloved hero.
and even though Luke himself
might have joined his father and mentors in the force
Mark Hamill’s Hollywood legacy will never truly die.
How can one man embody the Galaxy’s great hero