Mark Hamill's 1977 Car Crash Explained

Movie icon Mark Hamill was involved in a horrific car accident in 1977 that he feared would ruin his career. Here's the full story.

Mark Hamill's car accident in 1977 had a significant impact on the actor. Hamill even thought he would have to quit acting because of the accident. Obviously, this is not the case. In the wake of this traumatic event, Star Wars' Mark Hamill has since built his career as a legend in both the sci-fi and superhero genres. However, savvy fans noticed subtle changes in his facial features, especially between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

Mark Hamill's accident actually happened after the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, but before the film's release. As such, the news didn't make headlines or reach as many people as it happened before Hamill's breakout role as Luke Skywalker. More than 40 years later, with Luke returning to the live-action Ahsoka franchise—and still a huge part of the ongoing Star Wars story—it's hard to imagine how a single event could have nearly cost Mark Hamill his early career. derailed. Here's Mark Hamill's car crash explained.

Mark Hamill's Car Accident Happened Early In His Career

Before Mark Hamill's car crash and his breakthrough as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars: A New Hope, Future Sci-Fi Legend has various credits to his name. Throughout the '70s, Hamill starred in multiple episodes of the long-running soap opera "General Hospital," voiced the new Scooby-Doo movie, and starred in the pilot "Eight Is Enough." Expectations weren't high when George Lucas' space opera debuted in 1977, but it became a huge smash and cultural landmark. Over the next few years, Hamill returned for two sequels. One thing that is often commented on is how Mark Hamill's look changed between the original western-inspired Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, which was released three years later in 1980. ^Hamill was fresher in the first entry, and while Luke doesn't look much different in the sequel, he does look older. This is of course due to Mark Hamill's broken nose and cheekbone in a car accident in January 1977. Mark Hamill recalled his thoughts on the accident in a 1978 interview (via Gossip Magazine), saying, "Thank God I met a stick somewhere, no cars, no No traffic, I was doing about 65-70 mph... I was speeding too Soon... what I think happened was that I was trying to get through an on-ramp and lost control and rolled over and veered off the road.

The star was also worried about the impact the accident might have on his career, recalling "I just woke up and I was in the hospital and I knew I had hurt myself very, very, very badly...but I wasn't sure. Then someone held a mirror up to my face and I just thought my career was over. Of course, after Mark Hamill's car accident, Star Wars was released and his career continued to go well. Luke's opening scene in The Empire Strikes Back is reportedly meant to explain why Luke looks a little different in the sequel , although there are conflicting accounts, Hamill never seems to have commented on it.

Mark Hamill Thought He'd Have To Quit Acting

In the decades since, Hamill has completed many great projects, including on Batman: The Animated Series and its Performing one of the most iconic clown performances in the spin-off. Mark Hamill was an icon at this point in his life and career and is back again as Luke Skywalker Episodes from the Star Wars sequel trilogy plus The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

Next post: How Mark Hamill de-aged a young Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian

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