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An interview with Mark Hamill

This was the only time Hamill acted on a LucasArts title. Considering the amount of Star Wars games released, has he intentionally resisted portraying Skywalker in a game?

“When I played Luke from 1977 to 1983, games were in their infancy,” he says. “I talked about turning a page and starting a new chapter. Those movies had a beginning, middle and end, and everyone sort of moved on.

“I don’t really know how to answer that, because I’ve never been asked to do it. That’s fine, though. If you’re playing Luke the way he was in the films – from his late teens to mid-’20s – I’ve outgrown the role. In the story, Luke is so boy-next-door farm boy, it’s like Dorothy in Oz. All the other characters that surround him are fantastic.”

He pauses for thought. “I’m not sure when George’s animated series Clone Wars is set, but I think it’s before Luke was born. Maybe when he was an infant.” Perhaps, then, he could provide infant sounds? “Yeah, whimpering myself to sleep at night.”


Above: Hamill did not voice that Luke

With Luke put to rest, Hamill became known for portraying another icon, albeit one that’d have the Star Wars hero quivering in his toga. Throughout the ’90s, he played the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, reviving the role in various spin-offs, and for the 2001 game Batman: Vengeance.

“I played Joker from 1992 to 2004 in all the animated versions, including the feature films,” he says. “I stopped in 2004 and didn’t expect to return to him, so when they asked me to come back I was curious.” The return of the Animated Series’ Kevin Conroy as Batman and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, alongside the writing talents of Lost’s Paul Dini to Arkham Asylum convinced him to sign up.

“I thought this will be one last chance to play Joker. And it was so much fun to play a character who is clearly insane." So what does Hamill think drives Batman's foe?

"I’m an old school comic book fan and I thought Heath Ledger was brilliant in The Dark Knight: a harrowing interpretation with a complete lack of joy. But I think Joker has a huge ego, and he’s almost angry that Batman is obstructing his ascent. He believes he deserves acclaim for his genius.”

In Hollywood, Hamill must meet people like that all the time. “Absolutely, but all these things are exaggerations of real life.”

Having acted in film, TV, theater and animation, Hamill is not giving up on games. His next project, Black Pearl, is based on a run of comics he wrote in the ’90s, and there’s an animated movie in the works. The actor could have retired to bask in Star Wars glory years ago, but his love of the job keeps him going. He laughs again, only this time not in the manner of a terrifying lunatic. “The minute I get jaded is the minute I don’t get out of my pajamas.”

23 comments

  • ReverendTed - January 17, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    I'm not sure I'd call Soldier of Fortune II's Assistant Director Wilson a "mentor". He comes across as an antagonistic weasel throughout the game, even before it's eventually revealed that he's the megalomaniacal villain behind the whole affair. Hamill's hidden line of dialogue in the credits had me in stitches. I have to say that Nicholson, Ledger, and Hamill all did fantastic jobs with their respective Jokers. I wouldn't say any were better or worse - all different, and all excellent. I think the medium of animation gives Hamill the ability to let loose and cast his Joker as the most, well..."unhinged" of the lot.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - January 15, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    I'll add my own nerd perspective: Yet would Vader have killed the Emperor without Luke's influence? Remember Vader's last words are that Luke saved him. Vader's sympathy for Luke's suffering at the hands of the Emperor returned his humanity to him.
  • Kenzo - January 14, 2010 7:13 p.m.

    yeah, Vader destroys the emperor, and thus becomes Anakin again, therby ridding the world of Darth Vader and bringing balance to the force
  • Howetzer - January 14, 2010 6:53 p.m.

    Hrmm Diddly I guess in a way though one could interpret that Anakin did bring balance to the force, so mayhap I have been too harsh, because I guess Vader was the one who actually destroyed the emperor by throwing him down the shaft, so maybe youve got a point there. Bravo! LOL
  • Howetzer - January 14, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    @ Diddly Im not a real SW nerd, but even I know that Anakin did not bring balance to the force, but pushed it over almost compeltely to the darkside i.e. exterminating almost every last Jedi in the galaxy and taking up the mantle of Darth Vader. It was Anakin (Vader's) Son, Luke that brought the balance back to the force by defeating Vader and the emporer and bringing back the Jedi order..thus the movie return of the jedi. Jeese man common!
  • lovinmyps3 - January 14, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    Mark Hamill rocks. =)
  • billyhtchcoc - January 14, 2010 4:11 p.m.

    Am I the only one who is bemused that the photo they used for Gabriel Knight is the only game in the series that his character WASN'T in?
  • Styrophoamicus - January 14, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    I love how you can be watching an animated show, hear a voice, and then later be like 'Mark Hammill did that? Whaaaa-?!' (such was my reaction when I found out he was the Joker, as well as Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender). Just goes to show that there really is no shame in voice-acting; Mark has it down perfectly
  • Sebastian16 - January 14, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    This is the best thing you guys have ever done.
  • michaelmcc827 - January 14, 2010 4:23 a.m.

    Didn't really like the format of the article, but interesting nonetheless. And Charlie, try harder next time ;)
  • smallberry - January 14, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    My favorite portly detective.
  • diddly - January 14, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    Luke didn't bring balance to the force, Anakin did!
  • AnonymouZ - January 14, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    I was thinking, who the fuck is Mark Hamill? Obviously i wasn't nerd enough. Mea culpa, Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa then again, i nerded up again by reading this whole article... nice one... even if it reposted from somewhere else xD
  • Silentboy - January 14, 2010 1:25 a.m.

    As far as I'm conserned, Mark is the only voice for Joker that actually fits the character. He was also really good in Darksiders.
  • mgkyo666 - January 14, 2010 1:20 a.m.

    Mark Hamill FTW!!! He's awesome!
  • thor0997 - January 14, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    What?!?! I didnt know that he did both!!! He probably warps space/time around himself with his awesome!
  • SausageLozenge - January 13, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    a ton of voice actors. Sorry about the double post. Mark deserves it though.
  • SausageLozenge - January 13, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    Anybody remember Mark Hamill as The Trickster in the Flash TV show? Mark also has a movie called "Comic Book: The Movie" which features a ton of v
  • mentalityljs - January 13, 2010 11:28 p.m.

    It's great to hear reknown actors and actresses using their talents in other mediums, rather than just being camera whores. It really brings the characters to life and i feel players are sucked in more. Awesome article.
  • LeeCarvallo - January 13, 2010 10:55 p.m.

    Whenever I read a Batman comic I hear all of The Joker's lines in Hamill's voice. That version of The Joker and the rest of the Batman TAS are definitive Batman for me. And Episodes 4-6 of Star Wars are amongst the greatest films of all time. Mark Hamill is awesome.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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