The Star Wars well from which to mine new nuggets may in fact be bottomless. And this one is as delightful as any. Imagine looking back on a picture you drew as a toddler. That’s sort of like what Mark Hamill’s experiencing as he watches his original audition for the role of Luke Skywalker.
In promoting N.A.I., an organization that helps prepare underprivileged students for college, the self-deprecating Hamill reluctantly sat down to be embarrassed as he viewed his 1976 tape. It’s fascinating to watch him cringe not only at the sound of George Lucas’ stilted dialogue, but at his own delivery of these lines. It makes you wonder what sort of performance Hamill would have given had he possessed his current 68-year-old instincts back then.
The actor makes a number of observations in his reaction to the tape. Like how Harrison Ford, the very essence of cool, was somehow the better performer, despite the fact that he’s not on camera, and not auditioning.
Hamill reveals that he, along with most others who first read Lucas’ script, wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was it a Flash Gordon parody? He really didn’t know. Nor did he know what Ford’s character’s first name was, or how to pronounce any number of entities in the Star Wars universe. As for Lucas, he had too much else going on to concern himself with the pronunciation of Chewbacca. “Say it how you want to say it; it will be regional.” Good point.
It’s still fun to see the sense of wonder in Hamill’s eyes after all these years, knowing what this franchise means to so many people. It’s not lost on him that he got to be in a saga of this magnitude—one that has transcended cinema. And watching him marvel in 2019 that he was not only in the movie, but cast as its star, will surely make any Star Wars fan smile.
Check out the video from Omaze for yourself and find out ways to win tickets to the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and have dinner with the film’s namesake—Mr. Mark Hamill himself.