The Awards season is gathering steam, and the films which are likely to dominate this year’s Academy Awards are now becoming clearer. But, there is someone who has not yet been discussed, but, deserve to be: Mark Hamill must be nominated for an Oscar for his work as Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has already gone past the $1 billion landmark, and is now the 3rd highest grossing movie of the year. The Star Wars Episode VIII is still the subject of fierce debates. No matter what side you take regarding The Last Jedi’s merits, and its position in the Star Wars canon, there is plenty of common ground for fans and critics both: superb special effects, great camera work, music that is among the best works of John Williams, and Mark Hamill’s performance.
Hamill’s come back to the big screen was as much hyped as the come back of Star Wars was. Fans across generations have grown up with Luke Skywalker, and they were delighted to see him back on the big screen, and that’s why Mark Hamill got another highly deserved lead role. He has been working for many decades now and has also been famous in voiceover domain, where he has almost become the authentic voice of The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, and theatrical performances. Still, for most of the common viewers, Mark Hamill is synonymous with Luke Skywalker. To see him reprise the iconic role wasn’t only to satisfy the geeks or invoke nostalgia: it was a well-timed proof of the superb acting talents of Hamill.
No doubt, Hamill’s portrayal of the aged Skywalker is the best performance of his career, and at a time when the Oscar nominations are on, Hamill frankly deserves to be up there.
WHO ALL STAND A CHANCE AT AN OSCAR THIS YEAR?
The awards season is moving at full speed, and the nominations will be announced on January 23rd, the chances for various categories are strong, unique, and after a long time, too complicated to precisely guess. The front-runners for Best Actor Oscar are Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name, Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour, James Franco’s portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. However, Willem Dafoe appears to lead the race for Best Supporting Actor courtesy The Florida Project, but, he has powerful competition in other expected nominees such as 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.
No matter what, with such iconic as well as budding names, competing and all of them impressing critics and awards voters, its nothing short of idiotic to think that the Oscar race is done and dusted before it has even begun. This is a time of variation, and last year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight has indicated that nothing is off the table. Therefore, why not to run a proper and rightful Oscar campaign for Mark Hamill?
WHY SHOULD MARK HAMILL BE NOMINATED?
The way Hamill performed in The Last Jedi is something that only he was capable of: the monolithic pressure of decades of anticipation and cult-status rested on his shoulders during the sequences with Rey. That’s the performance of someone who knows what it really means to be Luke Skywalker. He has spent forty years with that, and it is evident because he has superbly used those years to the best result. He aptly exhibits the exhaustion and guilt that chases Luke, and also the realization of your ego being repeatedly decimated by truth, which here happens to be his mishandling of the rising powers of his nephew Ben Solo who became Kylo Ren.
Apart from being apparently a tough cookie, Hamill has also been really funny as Luke. A few fas objected to the comedy in Episode VIII, but, it is obvious that Hamill shone brightly in them. Skywalker’s hour is like an irritable, depressed hermit who has spent more than enough time blabbering to porgs, and Hamill nails that with swag. There are some sequences in the movie such as Luke using “the Force” on Rey using a leaf, and it is all courtesy, Mark Hamill.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR MARK HAMILL TO GET NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR?
Hamill is the true champion in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, mixing comedy with pathos and remorse, and some elements of action. If there is fairness, Hollywood will be motivated to give him more meaningful live-action opportunities, but, as of now, this is a role which deserves acknowledgment from the Academy. It is not improbable because Alec Guinness had got a Best Supporting Actor nomination as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars, back in 1977, but, it is a tough challenge. Despite all the modifications done in a bid to make the Oscars more open in terms of genre and content, they are still reluctant to honoring blockbusters and film genres outside the technical segments.
Science-fiction and Superhero movies are not considered by the Academy voters beyond the special effects and other such categories, but, exceptions have been there, such as late Heath Ledger’s winning Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight. This is greatly due to the old rigid mentality that fails to see the talent that is required for a performance such as Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi. It has to be something incredible that compels millions of people globally to buy tickets to see such a cliché character, and it can easily die if done wrongly. Still, many under-rate the effort. That’s one of the reasons why films such as The Last Jedi, and other famous superhero movies such as 2017’s Logan, are unlikely to be nominated for the award they duly deserve, the special effects are praised, but, the overall movie is hardly considered with parity. To them it is not Oscar stuff, but, it should be.
It also depends on Disney and Lucasfilm, and if they put in the effort to launch a powerful campaign supporting Hamill, it might just happen. The actor has a great respect in the industry, The Last Jedi has done very well with audiences as well as critics, and the studios have enough money/resources at their disposal to get him nominated. He would still be in a corner compared to the contemporaries, several of whom have been nominated for other awards. However, there is always a surprise inclusion every year, so why not aim for that?
As per Disney’s award nomination campaigns, they are propping Hamill’s name for lead actor instead of supporting, where he might have a better chance of being nominated. However, the opportunity is there for Hamill to make it into the top five.
Mark Hamill has been ignored by several industry people for way too long, eclipsed by the younger Skywalker’s image, but, he has now displayed what the world has been missing for decades, and it must be recognized now. We expect Star Wars: The Last Jedi to get some Oscar nominations in technical categories, but, we want Mark Hamill to get a shot at the Best Actor trophy.