Think you know Mark Hamill and Star Wars? Here are three little-known facts about the actor.
The veteran actor Mark Hamill is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga. He is also a gifted voice actor, having portrayed Batman’s formidable enemy, the Joker, in numerous animated features.
Hamill is often known for being extremely nice to his fans and has amassed nearly 4 million followers on his Twitter account. With the Skywalker Saga having come to a conclusion, it’s hard to say when or if Hamill will journey into Star Wars again. Despite this, he is still obviously in no mood to stop entertaining his fans.
So, do you think you know everything there is about to know about Hamill and Star Wars? Here are three lesser-known facts about Mark Hamill in Star Wars.
1. Hamill was going to be Han Solo
When Hamill first read the script for Star Wars, he read a story similar to what was eventually put on screen: Luke Skywalker (then known as Luke Starkiller) joins the Rebel Alliance to fight the evil Galactic Empire and destroy the Death Star. Hamill auditioned with Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, but he certainly wasn’t under the impression that he was a fit for Luke.
Since George Lucas never spoke much during the audition process, Hamill thought that he’d be playing Han Solo, and that Harrison Ford would be Luke. In an interview a few years back, he admitted that:
"When I tested, I figured Harrison’s a leading man. So I thought, “I’m playing his sidekick, right?” Reading it, I’m going, “Wait a second. Wasn’t I reading for Luke Starkiller? This can’t be right.”"
I guess it just goes to show that Hollywood has a way of turning some unlikely typecasts into film icons.
2. The Empire Strikes Back….onto Hamill’s car
While the opening of The Empire Strikes Back heavily involves Luke being attacked and taken by a Wampa. Once he is rescued, the extent of his injuries, including numerous facial scars, are visible in the next scene. It turns out, those scars weren’t all fake.
In January 1977, Mark Hamill got into a bad car accident. While he was alright, he did sustain a number of facial lacerations and a broken nose. Hamill had plastic surgery on his nose but still had some facial scarring by the time that Episode V was ready to start shooting.
Now, George Lucas has stated in interviews and DVD commentaries that the Wampa scene wasn’t written to help explain these scars. On the contrary, Carrie Fisher has said that the scene was written for this reason. Luckily, whether or not the scene was a newly-written one didn’t affect the outcome of the film, as The Empire Strikes Back is considered one of the best Star Wars films of all time.
3. Hamill flew around the set like a circus performer
One of the most iconic scenes in the Star Wars saga is when Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia rappel across an empty chasm while escaping the Death Star. A quick clip of the filming process provides some insight:
While the footage shows that Hamill and Carrie Fisher were linked together, Hamill has talked many times about his request to be buckled in alone and fly around the set like Peter Pan. Despite George Lucas’ protests, the crew granted Hamill his request.
A moment of flying around the Death Star, surrounded by stormtroopers, Princess Leia, and a very concerned George Lucas. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Let us know your favorite Mark Hamill/Luke Skywalker moment in the comments below!