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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Jedi to Joker

The year 1977 witnessed the debut of a character that would eventually become famous around the globe and would continue to be so for decades.  The Star Wars era began and with it the famous, young and soon-to-be Jedi, Luke Skywalker.  The revelation of the Stars Wars epic was that the evil Darth Vader, a villain unlike any that preceded him, was in fact the father of Luke Skywalker.  Later it was also revealed that Princess Leia was Luke's twin sister.  Of course, any true Star Wars fan knows this information, but it was the twists in the story and the secret ties that made the story great.  Luke Skywalker came to be the hero among all young fans.  He was a new character with a unique name. 

That same year, in fact the same film, produced an unknown actor to be Luke, Mark Hammill.  It was Mark's portrayal of Luke that defined the character and carried the movie franchise.  It's his likeness that is continually used in paintings and artwork depicting Star Wars themes.  So what has Mark Hammill done since Star Wars?  Quiet a bit actually.

It would seem that Mark has a talent for voices as he has been providing the voices for characters for animation and video games.  His first use of his voice, at least from what I can find, was in 1973 (pre Star Wars) in Scooby-Doo: Mysteria in Persia.  Years later in 1989, he provided a voice in The Little Mermaid but received no credit for it and in 1993, he provided the voice for E'Lectromag in Biker Mice From Mars. Later that same year, he became the voice of one of comicdom's most notorious villains in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.  Which villain?  The ever popular, Joker.  Unlike other actor/character combos he has maintained that role providing the  voice of the Joker even in video games, such as the upcoming Batman:Arkham Asylum II.  Who would have guessed that Luke Skywalker and the Joker would have something in common?

Other animated comic book characters that Mark Hammill has voiced include: Hobgoblin, Wolverine, Solomon Grundy, The Trickster, The Spectre, Iron Man, Red Skull, Gargoyle, Maximus, Triton and many others.  It would seem our young Jedi Knight has a talent of using his voice in quite a number of ways.  If you would like to see the long list of things Mark Hammill has done just click here.  You will be surprised at the amount of work he has had over the decades.

From Jedi to Joker the talents of Mark Hammill continue to infiltrate our lives as comic book and science fiction lovers.  Will we ever see him in another Star Wars role?  That remains to be seen, although unlikely.  One thing is for sure, we will contiue to enjoy Mark's legacy whether we realize it is him or not.

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1 comment:

  1. Mark Hamill Is The Greatest!!! Ive Always Enjoyed His Voice Work. Anytime Another Actor Does The Voice For The Joker, I Always Compare Them To Hamill And They Never Stack Up! And Im Always Happy When I Watch Something And Relize Mark's Doing The Voice. It Usually Catches Be By Surprise!!!