Luke Skywalker! For over 40 years, that name is synonymous with Star Wars. And, Mark Hamill‘s face is all you see if you were to close your eyes, raid your vintage toys, or whip out your light saber! (Careful now!)
It’s pretty tough to imagine anyone else in the lead role of the Star Wars franchise, but did you know that there were other actors who were gunning for the role?
Star Wars was Hamill’s first big screen role. Before that, all of his credits were on television, such as The Bill Cosby Show, The Partridge Family, and Night Gallery. When George Lucas started casting Star Wars in 1976, The Greatest American Hero star, William Katt, was considered a likely lead for the film.
Kurt Russell was also in the hunt for a lead role in the film. Russell was up for not one but two Star Wars roles. He read for Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. However, Russel was really in the hunt for Han Solo, as his charisma and action ability made him a more likely fit for the role. Ultimately, Russel didn’t get either role.
Finally, Charles Martin Smith was up to play Luke Skywalker as well. Known for his roles in The Buddy Holly Story, Speechless and Deep Impact, the actor also previously worked with Lucas in 1973’s American Graffiti. He too didn’t make the cut! And if you look below, he doesn’t look anywhere close to what we envision as Luke Skywalker.
Ultimately, the role of Luke Skywalker ended up with Hamill and Lucas made the right call!
Check out Hammil’s Star Wars audition tape below! It’s fantastic! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Covering superheroes, anything dark, horror, and more! Lead writer for Fan Fest