Mark Hamill is one of the most prolific, dependable and hard-working actors in the business today. The multi-talented veteran has worked in various different genres across different platforms and mediums, and he has amassed an astonishing and perpetually-growing portfolio filled with a wide array of noteworthy turns. There’s a good chance that you know the actor best for the role that made him a superstar: Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga. It’s easily among his most famous and recognizable roles, and it’s likely the role that he’ll be most remembered for in the future. That is particularly true as Hamill is expected to reprise this role in this December’s forthcoming blockbuster sequel, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Yet, no actor is solely one part. Mark Hamill has built an incredible career throughout the years, and there are certainly several other performances that should be recognized beyond his well-known work in the Star Wars series. After all, the actor has a remarkable 340 (!) acting credits on his IMDb page. That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at, and it’s clear that he has appeared in several other movies, TV shows, video games and more to earn the right to not solely be known as Luke Skywalker. That’s why I’m going to take this opportunity to look back on Hamill’s astonishing career and celebrate a number of great, versatile, distinctive and sometimes under-appreciated acting roles that have nothing to do with a galaxy far, far away.
Let’s take a look at six other Mark Hamill roles that aren’t Luke Skywalker, but should be celebrated and acclaimed anyhow.
Colonel Muska (Castle In The Sky)
Outside of his live-action work in the Star Wars franchise, Mark Hamill is notably very prolific in the world of voiceover acting. It’s an undervalued profession in the business of fame, one that tends to get overlooked since many of its most talented performers become the characters themselves, to the point where the actor disappears, and that’s certainly true for Hamill’s work inside the voice booth. One of his most celebrated works came in Disney’s English dub for 1986’s Castle in the Sky, from acclaimed Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki. In this animated feature, Hamill took on the villainous role of Colonel Muska, an agent who will do everything in his given power to seize control of the floating Laputa, the titular castle in the sky.
While Mark Hamill is often well-known for his kinder, more lighthearted character, it’s often his antagonistic roles where he really shows his acting range. There will be at least a couple other examples seen throughout the article, but this particular turn is among Hamill’s best acting performances — even if it isn’t necessarily among his well-known (or even among his most recognizable, as many will likely not know it’s him).
Ted Mitchum (Brigsby Bear)
In 2017, Mark Hamill was often celebrated (or unjustly criticized) for his return to the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Meanwhile, his best performance of that year was sadly overlooked by the masses. As great as Hamill was as Skywalker again, he was even better in the role of Ted Mitchum in the affecting indie dramedy Brigsby Bear, starring and co-written by Saturday Night Live‘s very undervalued Kyle Mooney.
As an overly-attached sheltered father raising his son as though he were still a child (even though he’s well into his 20s) it’s revealed that Mark Hamill’s Ted has secretly abducted this man as a baby, and this failed inventor and his wife have spent the last 20-something years raising this boy through the fictional educational series, Brigsby Bear. Once Kyle Mooney’s character realizes that everything he once knew was a complete lie, he sets out to make a Brigsby Bear movie in order to cope with what became of his fragile ecosystem. The result is a naturally strange but ultimately very sweet movie about how we use art and creativity to make sense of our disheveled realities. Mark Hamill’s layered supporting turn recognizes the inspiration that he planted in his criminally adopted son, while never excusing the lingering trauma his character’s actions caused. It’s great.
Professor James Arnold (Kingsman: The Secret Service)
The success of the first Kingsman movie relies on its deft tone. It’s a bombastic, goofy, gory and viciously over-the-top spectacle, serving as a more raunchy, R-rated parody/tribute to the Roger Moore Bond movies of the 1980s. It’s ultimately a credit to Matthew Vaughn that the director is able to capture the splashy tone without going overboard. The same can be said for his supporting actor, Mark Hamill, in the role of Professor James Arnold.
While Mark Hamill doesn’t get a ton of screentime in the hit spy action-comedy, he certainly knows how to play campy in this theatrical supporting turn that never fully goes over-the-edge in terms of cartoonishness. It plays up the absurdity of this world, especially during this early sequence, but he knows how to capture the right tone — fun with a razor edge. Hamill’s talents are properly showcased inside this all-too-short supporting performance.
Pvt. Griff – 1st Squad (The Big Red One)
During the late ’70s and early ’80s, on account of his rising fame in Star Wars (the biggest movie in the world at the time), his business with all the sequels and projects found within this on-screen universe and the recovery process from a terrible car accident in the late ’70s, Mark Hamill didn’t work as often as he does today. But he did find the time to appear in Samuel Fuller’s 1980 war drama, The Big Red One, which remains one of his most critically adored movies to date. It also gave the star a chance to step away from big star wars and into a real one — specifically, World War II.
In this role, Mark Hamill worked his best to avoid being typecast and goodie two-shoes roles after playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, playing the part of Pvt. Griffin, one member in a squad of soldiers trying to survive World War II in Africa. While the actor is once again providing a supporting turn in this film, his performance is often praised from the ensemble. And while the movie didn’t earn the most glowing reviews upon release, it did receive a critical re-evaluation when an extended cut — which featured nearly an additional hour of footage — was released decades later. For an actor who is often known for his comic book characters and fantasy roles, The Big Red One is a great opportunity for fans to see Mark Hamill in a grounded film.
Firelord Ozai (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
As mentioned earlier, Mark Hamill might be best known for being the saver of the galaxy in Star Wars, but a number of his most distinctive roles tend to be when he takes on the dark side. Case-in-point, his voice work as Firelord Ozai in the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The former Fire Lord and absolute ruler of the Fire Nation, serves as one of the key antagonists in the popular animated series — in fact, he’s the main bad guy.
As he often does, Mark Hamill relishes his role, clearly filled with glee when as he plays this villainous persona. He is a character who wants to destroy nations and take over the other elements, and he’s not going to let anyone stand in his way if he can help it. It’s another fantastic voice role from the famous, well-versed actor, though it’s only secondary to what might easily be considered Hamill’s most popular, well-acclaimed voice performance.
Joker (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm)
Yes, it was only a matter of time before we put the Joker on this list. While Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Jared Leto, Cesar Romero, and, most recently, Joaquin Phoenix have adopted the white make-up to play the Clown Prince of Crime, Mark Hamill has been playing the part of Batman’s biggest adversary for close to 30 years now, and that will hopefully not change anytime soon, because he’s absolutely tremendous in the role.
While Mark Hamill first adopted the role as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, one of his greatest turns in the role came when he played the part in the show’s animated feature, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. In the role, Mark Hamill fully unleashes the vengeance and fury of the character’s mad glee for the distasteful and obscene, and it showcases in just a short period of time the mayhem and madness that Mark Hamill channels with what can seem like effortless ease as the mad clown of Gotham. It’s a role that Hamill has only become better at playing, and hopefully he continues to provide comic book lovers with what might very well be the definitive variation of the famous villain. Though Hamill certainly has a lot of competition…
These are only a mere few of the great characters that Mark Hamill has played throughout his luxurious career. More recently, some of you may love characters like The Scientist in Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and Chucky in Child’s Play. But we’re sure you have your own favorites outside of the Star Wars series that are equally worth mentioning. Therefore, be sure to let us know your personal picks in the comments.
Which Role Is Mark Hamill’s Best Outside Of Star Wars?