The eternal Luke Skywalker? US actor Mark Hamill turns 70

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Actually, Mark Hamill had finally said goodbye to Luke Skywalker – for the second time. In the 70s and 80s Hamill became famous in the “Star Wars” empire with half-length brown hair and a shimmering sword in his hands, from 2015 he came back again as Jedi Knight Skywalker for a trilogy.

“The Rise of Skywalkers”, the ninth part of the series released in 2019, was definitely “the last time I’ll ever play Luke,” said Hamill last year. “I had a beginning, a middle and an end. These films gave me more than I could ever have expected when we started.” He was already talking about how much he likes to read and play with his dogs – but then, to the surprise of all fans, Hamill recently made a short Skywalker appearance in the “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian”.

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(Quelle: Star Wars)

“It was completely unexpected,” said Hamill on US presenter Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. “I was done with the role and I never expected to take it again.” Hamill was in his 20s when he turned Skywalker – today the actor turns 70, but the role of Jedi Knight just doesn’t seem to let go of him. “It’s like being drafted by the military. You get the decision and have no choice,” Hamill once joked when asked why he agreed to the second trilogy. “And I love it.” In 2018 Hamill was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for his work.

Hamill once said that he was an even bigger Star Wars fan than he was, but his eldest son, Nathan. “He knows more about it than I do. I don’t watch the films anymore. I last saw them in the cinema, but I don’t watch them at home. (Nathan) however, he reads all the inside information on Star Wars, that Book, he played all the games – that’s why I turn to him if I want to know something. I once took a “Star Wars” knowledge test and I failed! “

Hamill was born in 1951 as one of seven siblings in Oakland, California. The father was in the US Navy and the family moved frequently. Hamill studied acting in Los Angeles, quickly got his first roles and then made his breakthrough with “Star Wars”. “It was so much fun,” Hamill once told the Hollywood Reporter. “It was like a giant playground where they gave us robots, floating cars and laser swords – it was how I used to play in my garden.”

He was convinced that the whole thing would be a success. “I was one of the few who believed in it. But of course I had no idea that we would become electric toothbrushes, sleeping bags and candy dispensers.”

Image: © Lucasfilm

In addition to the “Star Wars” films, Hamill, who has three children with his wife Marilou, only got smaller roles and often concentrated on his work in the theater and as a voice actor. Among other things, he set the Joker to music in the US cartoon series “Batman”. “What I like about dubbing is that casting is done with your ears, not with your eyes – that’s why you can take on roles that you wouldn’t get in front of the camera.” In parts 3 to 5 of the Wing Commander III PC game series, Hamill also took on the role of space fighter pilot Christopher “Maverick” Blair.

As much as Luke Skywalker gave Mark Hamill the breakthrough, he remains forever connected to the role for many people. “People then say to me,” Aren’t you sad that you will only ever be remembered for this one thing? “But I never expected to be remembered for anything at all!”

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)

(Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Two of Mark Hamill’s fellow actors, who played well-known “Star Wars” characters at his side, passed away in 2019 and 2020. Including Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, who played the shaggy Wookiee. Mayhew died of a heart attack in April 2019 at the age of 74. For the role as Chewbacca, George Lucas was looking for a tall actor – Mayhew was 2.21 meters tall. Originally the almost 2 meter tall David Prowse was supposed to play Chewbacca, but he preferred to play the villain and took on the role of Darth Vader. The bodybuilder and fitness trainer Prowse died in November 2020 at the age of 85. Prowse’s daughter stated that he died as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


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