Wednesday, July 26, 2006

One Hit Wonder Three Weeks Edition - Mark Hamill

Was watching an E! special the other day about the top 100 entertainment moments of all time. You know the ones where they go through the various ones and in-between have these nobodies give commentary on the moment in question.

Well who was one of those talking heads which popped up but Mark Hamill. At first I was curious to see how he looked and then I became a bit sad because he shouldn't be left to doing VH1 specials.

“So this is what has become of Luke Skywalker,” I thought. Not for a second could I have imagined Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher doing the same thing. Kenny Baker or Anthony Daniels possibly, but not Our Luke.

It seems as though Hamill has become a parody of himself and everything he does is in the area of cartoons, cameos, computer games, science-fiction or mocking Star Wars.

He was unable to use the role of Luke as leverage into a career like Harrison Ford was. In between Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, Ford was in five films with some of them big ones such as the Frisco Kid, Apocalypse Now and Force 10 from Navarone while Hamill was only in one: Corvette Summer which badly flopped.

That should have been indication enough of where their two respective careers were heading.

Maybe he was just a bad actor and no-one else wanted to cast him.

Or maybe he found himself a victim of being typecast. After all, when you are the central character in one of the biggest film franchises of all time that is hard to break out of.

Or maybe it was that he changed too much. When things started he was innocent, farm-boy Luke. The country bumpkin from Tatooine.

In fact my favorite scene from the whole trilogy is the one where he goes out and watches the twin sunsets. That moment signals the end of his innocence and the beginning of his journey to becoming a Jedi.
Apparently this scene is the favorite for a lot of other people as well.

I always felt that once Luke went to Dagobah in the Empire Strikes Back he wasn’t "Our Luke" anymore. He was distant and aloof. The training with Yoda really took its toll and the beginning of the realization that Darth Vader was his father was starting to mess with his mind.

By the time Return of the Jedi came around he looked like an entirely different person. It was like we didn’t know him anymore. Things weren’t helped that apart from the start when they all try to rescue Han Solo, he is away from everyone else and only reunites with the gang at the very end so he can particpate in the Num-Num song.

It took five years after ROTJ that he was next in a movie.

Maybe the problem was, that just like Christopher Reeve and Superman, once he became Luke he could never be anything else other than Luke.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post!
If you think Mark Hamill was a one-day wonder what about Billy Dee Williams?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I was actually having this same dicussion the other day. We also mentioned Hugh Grant - while he has been in many movies he always plays the exact same part.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Lady-Light said...

Somehow, although it doesn't really figure in the'great scheme of things', there is a sadness associated with a "one-day wonder" (thanks anon)actor who didn't make it.
Hmm-mm, I wonder what Jerusalem Cop would have to say about this...

4:54 PM  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Billy Dee Williams had a career before Lando.
See Brian's Song (I know) and Lady Sings the Blues (I think)

6:54 PM  
Blogger yoniQua said...

clever title.
ur in israel...
give us something.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

Anon - Billy Dee Williams did some other stuff before and after but Lando is probably he most well known role.

Karen - Hugh Grant = one dimensional clod. What did Liz ever see in him?

Lady-Light - It is sad to know you struggle to climb the mountain again after having already done so.

Soccer Dad - And of course, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings

YoniQua - Sure :) What woudl you like?

9:04 AM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Harison Ford and James Earl Jones were the only ones who escaped Star Wars. Carrie Fisher sank fast.

Harrison was able to escape primarily because of Indiana Jones--he had a diversion from Han Solo. Also, Solo was just a cool guy but otherwise pretty nondescript.

With regards to Hamill, I've tried to keep up with him over the years. I think I actually met him at a comic book convention once.

He had a very bad accident after Star Wars which left his face disfigured and he hasn't looked the same since. Over the years, his scars are becoming more apparent.

He isn't the best actor movie-wise, but he did a lot of Broadway (Amadeus and Elephant Man).

He's also a very sought after voiceover man and does lots of cartoons (The Joker in the Batman cartoons).

I also loved him in the Wing Commander PC games.

It is too bad that he couldn't have aged as gracefully as Ford.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people always compare Mark's film career to Harrison Ford's?
It is obvious that Mark did not want to follow the same path as Harrison. If you did a little more research on Mark Hamill you would find out that Mark wanted a career on Broadway after the Star Wars films. It was his choice to do this. While living in New York, Mark and his wife Marilou also had two little boys to raise.
His family is very important to him and he has chosen his acting roles and his voice work carefully so that he can be there for his wife and children.

He wasn't interested in becoming a huge Hollywood star like Harrison.

I think you need to read some of the personal interviews that he has given to the media through the years. You can find them at

You are entitled to call him a bad actor. His choice of an acting career might not be to your liking but that still does not make him a "One Hit Wonder" or even a bad actor.
It is just your opinion and I have to disagree with you.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

Anon II - Thanks for your interesting comment. What you write does make a lot of sense. I looked up the website but nothing there to do with Mark Hamill.

The more I think about it - if anything is a one hit wonder it is George Lucas

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to apologiize for giving you the wrong Mark Hamill website. Here is the website that I should have posted.

2:45 AM  

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