Happy Birthday Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill at MidAmeriCon in 1976.

Luke Skywalker turns 60 on September 25 – can you believe it?

Mark Hamill, born in 1952, began playing the iconic role over three decades ago in the original Star Wars (since retitled Star Wars plus-or-minus 3, if I recall.) And in those days everybody in the production company worked overtime to interest fans in their movie because it wasn’t even a sure bet to be released!

Hamill and producer Gary Kurtz traveled to MidAmeriCon, the 1976 Worldcon, to make the appeal. They did a Q&A together and Hamill posed with the exhibit of art and props from the movie. Nobody knew who he was yet. The convention daily newzine got his name wrong and came back with a correction in the next issue: “It’s Mark Hamill, not Mike Hamill …”

The editors of Rocket’s Blast Comic Collector interviewed Mark at the Worldcon and took the accompanying photo. The interview appeared in their October 1977 issue – six months after the release of Star Wars, by which time every sf fan knew his name.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Mark Hamill

  1. I recall the tiny, out of the way room holding the Star Wars display, and my impression was that it looked interesting. Somebody was finally going to do a science fiction movie right — again. No point overlooking 2001.

    Well, I was right and I was wrong. It was an interesting movie, and did that sort of Leigh Brackett action-adventure SF story just fine. Unfortunately, Lucus made five more movies that were unnecessary and not half as good.

    We might have been better off it we had rioted like a lot of soccer hooligans and burned the display then and there. It might have discouraged Lucas from going through with it. Today we might have “Stage Wars IV: Return of the Apaches,” etc. instead

  2. Wash your mouth out with soap, Michael! Do you have any idea what an abomination it would have been, with baby aliens, raptors and food fights? They would have ruined the subject and made fandom Hollywood’s, as they almost did for SF in film for many years.

  3. I remember Mr. Hamill saying in an interview that he went to the Equicons in the early ’70s like any other fan; Bjo Trimble once told me she checked her registration records, and sure enough, there he was listed.

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