See where Mark Hamill's been hiding since the original Star Wars movie...
With the latest Star Wars set to hit the big screen in a matter of days, here’s what original actor Mark Hamill’s been up to since the first in the franchise…
Luke Skywalker himself! Has the Force always been with him?
Not quite. After playing Luke in the original Star Wars trilogy, Mark worked mostly on low-budget movies and on Broadway. He’s also done a huge amount of voice acting over the years, most notably as The Joker in Batman video games and as the voice of Skips in cult cartoon The Regular Show. Speaking of his fondest memories fighting the dark side in Star Wars, Mark recalls: ‘I lit up when I heard they were going to make my face into a mask on boxes of cereal.’
Didn’t he almost die while filming?
Kind of, yes! The day before shooting some of the final scenes for the first Star Wars film, Mark was involved in a car crash that left him with real scars, which they ended up using in the movie. ‘I was going too fast,’ Mark explained following the incident. ‘I fractured my nose and cheek and woke up and knew I’d hurt myself very badly. As someone held a mirror up to my face, I just felt my career was over.’ Thankfully, it wasn’t, although they did use a double for quite a few scenes during his recovery.
What about family life?
Mark’s been happily married for over 37 years – a bit of a record by showbiz standards. He wed long-term love Marilou York in 1978 and they’ve since had three children together: Nathan, 36 (who makes a cameo in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace as a Naboo Palace Guard), Griffin, 32, and Chelsea, 27. Sharing his secret to a happy marriage, Mark says: ‘A really short manual would be “don’t cheat”, which seems to be where people break up.’
How did he prepare for the new instalment?
After he signed up for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – which hits cinemas on 14 December – on-set sources revealed Mark, now 64, was getting fit in preparation, saying: ‘He needs to be as close to his appearance in the earlier movies as possible.’ Actor Robert Englund, who inspired Mark to audition as Luke Skywalker in 1976, revealed: ‘They’ve got him in the gym doing sit-ups!’
Surely there’s been some scandal?
To put it bluntly, no! Mark’s kept a low profile over the years and is known as a family man. Let’s hope the Force really has awoken for his return to the big screen…