There comes a time when an actor who portrays a legacy character simply wants to hang it up, and Mark Hamill has had this very thought about his portrayal of Luke Skywalker according to Deadline. During an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Hamill said that he’s not writing off his most iconic character completely, but it’s clear that the 71-year-old actor is ready to put down his Lightsaber as he continues to work on other things. Much like his Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford (who has recently announced his retirement from the Indiana Jones Franchise), Hamill has stated that he’s “had his time, and that’s good. But that’s good enough.”
As you get older, it’s not uncommon for your priorities to change, and this sentiment rings true for Mark Hamill at this point in his career. That is to say, the man behind Luke Skywalker has been pursuing other roles outside of the Star Wars universe, and he’s more than happy with what he’s already accomplished with the science-fiction franchise that changed his life forever. The Jedi Master’s most recent film effort sees him starring alongside Bert Kreischer in The Machine, which is a (wildly exaggerated) semi-autobiographical film about the shirtless stand-up comedian’s run in with the Russian mob.
One of the reasons that Mark Hamill’s role as Bert Kreischer’s father in The Machine appealed to him so much was because he likes watching the father/son dynamic play out as the characters struggle to understand each other. If you think about it, this is quite the role-reversal compared to Luke Skywalker’s troubled relationship with his father, Darth Vader, and it’s fun to see the script be flipped in such a way decades after we learned of Luke’s lineage in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Though we’re absolutely certain that Mark Hamill isn’t choking anybody out with the Force in The Machine like Luke’s father did in Star Wars, it’s safe to say that he’s no stranger to being an excellent father figure considering that he has three children of his own.
There was once a time when Mark Hamill tried to get away from being the “Star Wars guy,” but he has since made peace with the fact that he will always be known as Luke Skywalker no matter what else he accomplishes with his life. But make no mistake, the voice-actor behind the Joker is beyond grateful for his legacy as Luke Skywalker, and may not necessarily be done for good even though he feels like he’s done enough at this point. Unlike Harrison Ford, who did not parse his words when he asserted that he was finished with the Indiana Jones franchise, Hamill has gone on record saying that he would consider reprising the role of Luke Skywalker once again if the storytelling made sense enough for him to come back once more.
Mark Hamill also recently announced that he’s retiring from portraying the Joker, another character that he’s been playing since 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series. But the reason for stepping away from this role is in tribute to his former co-star Kevin Conroy, who passed away in 2022. Conroy was the voice-actor for Batman alongside Hamill’s Joker for so long, that Hamill simply cannot imagine himself working with anybody else after his decades-long creative partnership with Conroy.
Luckily, Mark Hamill isn’t retired from acting, but rather ready to pursue new roles that are outside of his comfort zone. The Machine premiered on May 26 2023, and it looks like he had a lot of fun working alongside Bert Kreischer in the R-rated comedy. This just goes to show you that even though Mark Hamill is probably done portraying Luke Skywalker and the Joker, it doesn’t mean we won’t see his face on the silver screen for years to come.