Awards season is hotting up, with the films that will be big hitters at this year's Academy Awards beginning to become clear. However, there's one name that's not been in the discussion and really should be: Mark Hamill deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance as Luke Skywalker.
As the box office gross for Star Wars: The Last Jedi soared past $1bn, taking 3rd place so far in the list of 2017's highest grossing films, the much anticipated 8th part in the saga continues to inspire heated conversations. Whatever side you lie on in the debate over the movie’s merits and its place in the canon of one of pop culture’s most iconic franchises, though, there is much for fans and skeptics alike to agree on: stunning special effects, dazzling cinematography, music that signals some of John Williams’s finest work in the series, and the performance of a certain Mark Hamill.
Hamill’s return to Star Wars was as hotly hyped as the return of Star Wars itself. Generations have grown up with Luke Skywalker and greatly anticipated his return to the big screen, something that also offered Hamill another much-deserved starring role. The actor has worked steadily for the past several decades, most notably in the realm of voiceover work, where he became perhaps the definitive version of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, and performances in the theatre. Yet for the majority of casual viewers, he will forever be known as Skywalker. To see him return to the role wasn’t just satisfying on a geeky or pure nostalgia level: it was a much-needed reminder of how damn good Hamill is as an actor.
Indeed, Hamill’s performance as the older Skywalker is arguably the finest of his career, and in a year where the acting Oscar races are open, it’s only fair that we include Hamill’s work among them.
Which Actors Have The Chance At An Oscar This Year?
Right now, with awards season in full swing and the nominations announcement coming on January 23rd, the possibilities for each category are strong, varied, and for the first time in many years, tough to accurately predict. Best Actor’s front-runners so far include rising stars - Timothée Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name – long-time favorites - Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour – and surprise entrants, including James Franco’s turn as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist to Daniel Kaluuya’s star making work in Get Out. Meanwhile, the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor seems to be Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project, although competition is tough with expected nominees including Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me By Your Name, Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water.
Whatever the case, even with these names, big and small, in contention and with each of them making splashes with critics and awards voters, it would be foolish to assume that the Oscars race is all said and done before it’s really begun. Indeed, this is a time of change, and as signalled by the shock success of last year’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight, anything could happen. So why not mount a full-blown and much deserved Oscar campaign for Mark Hamill?
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019