According to Screen Rant, J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), said of Mark Hamill in his return to the iconic character of Luke Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), “I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark.” J.J. Abrams is serving as executive producer on this film.
What can we learn from this? No, it does not reveal anything about who Rey’s parents are, but it does make Star Wars fans even more excited to see this next galactic installment. This quote can be taken a variety of ways, but there are largely two usual interpretations. One is that J.J. Abrams could be saying this just to give us confidence in Mark Hamill’s return performance, and is saying this Oscar business in a kind of joking manner. After all, of course he’s going to say something to positively promote a future film he is involved in. However, the other possibility, that I am rooting for, is that J.J. Abrams is very serious in what he says and believes about Hamill’s performance in The Last Jedi, and indeed does hope and think Hamill deserves, not only an Oscar nomination, but an Oscar win.
It’s hard to get right back into Oscar contenders for the 2018 ceremony (which will be a big thing, being the 90th Academy Awards) when we just had the 2017 ceremony less than a week ago. It is also still pretty early in the year to gauge what the rest of 2017 will bring to the table. The only Oscar nomination for an acting performance in the Star Wars realm came back in the 1977 original film from Sir Alec Guinness as Ben Kenobi.
It’s very difficult for “genre” films to get their say and recognition at the Oscars. If the films, as well as the actors and actresses, truly deliver standout and deserving performances though, it is possible for them to seep through into the nominations. Notable occurrences of this in the acting category that come to mind are Heath Ledger’s Best Supporting Actor nomination as the Joker for The Dark Knight (2008), and Sir Ian McKellen’s Best Supporting Actor nomination for the wizard Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Of course, only Heath Ledger won out of those two, and while some figure Ledger won because of his untimely and tragic death, many including myself believe he truly deserved the win regardless.
It goes without saying that Mark Hamill has got to deliver something truly spectacular in The Last Jedi to garner an Oscar win, let alone an Oscar nomination. We haven’t seen him act on screen for a long time, unless of course, you count that cinematic gold reveal at the conclusion of The Force Awakens, but he didn’t say much there when he turned around dramatically to face Rey (Daisy Ridley). Star Wars fans have his back though, and know that he will give the return role everything he’s got.
While some might not take this quote and article too seriously, it certainly gets us excited for a Luke Skywalker performance that maybe will not be Oscar-worthy, but will unquestionably be something special that catches our breath. We hope he does reach through to the Academy and receives a nomination. Go Mark Hamill and get that Oscar!
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi will have a large all-star cast of Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Benicio Del Toro, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Billie Lourd, and of course see the return of Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Anthony Daniels, and the late Carrie Fisher. John Williams is returning to score, and Rian Johnson (Looper, 2012) helms the director’s chair. It will zoom into theaters at the end of this year on December 15th, 2017. Hopefully we will get our first trailer soon!