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Luke Skywalker is one of cinema’s greatest heroes. It’s an iconic role that is portrayed by the always likable and charming, Mark Hamill. At the time of his audition, Mark Hamill was not a big star, and Star Wars changed his life. However, the actor did not know that Luke Skywalker was going to be the main character of Star Wars.
‘Star Wars’ centers around the story of Luke Skywalker and his family
The Skywalker family is at the center of the nine movie saga that George Lucas created. In the original Star Wars trilogy, audiences go on a hero’s journey with Luke, played by Mark Hamill. The character goes from a farmer on Tatooine to one of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. Luke saves the day along with help from his sister, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
The prequel trilogy then explored Anakin Skywalker’s tragic journey from Jedi padawan to Darth Vader. Then, in the sequel trilogy, Rey (Daisy Ridley) takes on the name of Skywalker to continue the heroic legacy. The Skywalker name has been at the center of this franchise and it all started with Luke in Episode IV: A New Hope.
Mark Hamill didn’t know Luke Skywalker was the main character when he auditioned for ‘Star Wars’
In a 2019 video with Omaze, Hamill reacts to screen test footage of himself auditioning for A New Hope with Harrison Ford. In the video, Hamill recalls this being the first time he met Ford and he thought that Han Solo was going to be the main character. As he explains, Ford had become a well-known name at that point so it would make more sense for him to play the lead role.
“When I did the scene, I thought Han Solo was the lead character and I was the sidekick,” Hamill said. “Harrison was a bonafide leading man so I thought he was Captain America and I was Bucky. So when I eventually got the script and I opened to the front page, it said ‘The Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the saga of the wills.’ I realized ‘Oh my gosh. It’s through my eyes.’”
“Weeks later, I got a call from my agent, she said they want you for Star Wars. I couldn’t believe it,” Hamill continued. “And we just had so much fun. Running around the Death Star, me trapped in the trash compactor. There wasn’t a day that we didn’t laugh a lot.”
Harrison Ford almost didn’t play Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’
In the video, Hamill says that Ford was the better actor of the two, even though he wasn’t even on camera. Ford initially wasn’t allowed to audition for Star Wars because Lucas previously worked with Ford on American Graffiti (1973) and wanted to work with a whole new cast. However, the director asked Ford to help read lines for auditions and Lucas believed that Ford was the best actor for Han Solo through these read-throughs.
Star Wars is currently streaming on Disney+.
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