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Star Wars' Mark Hamill Thought Luke Skywalker's Journey Mirrored His Own

For all its flashy effects, intricately designed worlds, and grand-scaled action set pieces, "Star Wars" would be nothing without its rich characters. When the original film blasted its way onto movie screens in 1977, audiences not only fell in love with George Lucas' groundbreaking sci-fi fantasy world but also came to identify with the film's lovable cast of characters. Such names as Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), and Darth Vader (David Prowse and James Earl Jones) remain some of the most instantly recognizable to this day.

But the beating heart of the original trilogy undeniably belongs to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Through his many trials and tribulations, Luke restored balance to the force by ending the Empire's tyrannical reign over the galaxy and became a figure etched into the hearts of countless moviegoers who saw themselves in the farm boy-turned-Jedi knight.

While he has made further appearances in the franchise since then, Luke's journey in the original trilogy stands the test of time as one of cinema's most iconic character arcs. The character's odyssey didn't only hit close to home for audiences, however, as Mark Hamill has more in common with the lightsaber-yielding youth than you might think.

Hamill owes Luke's journey to George Lucas' keen eye

Mark Hamill may not have ever had to train on a swamp planet or pilot a swift-moving spacecraft, but that doesn't mean he and Luke Skywalker are all that different. The Jedi's transformation from the original "Star Wars" to "Return of the Jedi" provided audiences with years of rich entertainment, but what it meant for Hamill is more personal.

In a 1988 interview with Hamill from the Lucasfilm Fan Club (via Star Wars News Net), the actor is asked if his own personal growth coincided with that of his sci-fi screen persona. Hamill answers, "Well, I think one of [George Lucas'] greatest strengths is picking people that are so close to what he wants in his characters that he doesn't really think it had to do a lot of major overhauling."

Recognizing the coming-of-age influence that the "American Graffiti" director imbued into the space saga, Hamill continues, "I guess 'Star Wars' was unique in the sense that I had the opportunity to do three movies in the same storyline that covered that much time in actual chronological years. It's like watching a kid grow up on television ... just as Luke grew throughout the films, so did I." Luke may not have approved of Hamill voicing so many villains, but the actor's commitment to his iconic role remains even decades later, as is evident in his disputes over Luke's role in 2017's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (via AV Club).