Mark Hamill Thought He Was Going To Throw Up While Seeing Star Wars For The First Time

One of my favorite things about "Star Wars: A New Hope" is that the hero's journey by Luke Skywalker is not all that different from Mark Hamill's. If you fly through Hamill's early filmography, you'll see mostly random television appearances, and then there it is, like a moon appearing right smack in front of you when coming out of light speed. That's no moon, it's a space station — or rather, a blockbuster film that was about the change the cinema landscape forever: George Lucas' "Star Wars: A New Hope."

When the film debuted in 1977, it was the era of the modern-day blockbuster, a period now shifting to something different because of the rise of streaming platforms. "Star Wars" featured groundbreaking special effects, a narrative steeped in both historical lore and futuristic science fiction, and a familiar good vs. evil story that took place a long time ago and far away. At the center of it all was a young, naive farm boy on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker.

Hamill, who was just 24 when he first played the iconic character, was still so unsure of himself when first seeing himself in "Star Wars" he admitted he almost threw up.

He purposely made Luke Skywalker whiny

"Star Wars: A New Hope" was always planned as the first film of a trilogy, and Mark Hamill knew this. Luke Skywalker's transformation from a wide-eyed kid to a mature Jedi Knight began purposefully from his first appearance. In a 1977 interview with The Village Voice, Hamill explained how he used Skywalker's character arc in the film to influence his performance. However, the first time he saw the film, his plan backfired. Hamill explained:

"So, out comes this singsong falsetto, 'But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!' Aaargh! It made me ill! I swear, I thought I was gonna throw up the first time I saw it. But I've seen it four times now, and each time I like myself better. I like myself for about 30% of it. I think I fit in. I do.'

A whiny Luke Skywalker was all by design, even if it did make the star cringe. Hamill joked that he had to transition from a "wormy guy" at the beginning of the film to "someone halfway human" later in the movie. In real life, Hamill seemed to channel Skywalker's naiveté because when he took the role, he had no idea it was putting him squarely in the center of the "Star Wars" universe.

He thought he was Han Solo's sidekick

In an interview with, Mark Hamill described the casting as a "cattle call" where he didn't learn much about the movie. He read his lines with Harrison Ford, who was auditioning for the role of Han Solo. It wasn't until after taking the part of Luke Skywalker and receiving the script that Hamill realized he just landed the leading role. Hamill described the moment:

"Because when I tested, I figured Harrison's a leading man. So I thought, 'I'm playing his sidekick, right?' Reading it, I'm going, 'Wait a second. Wasn't I reading for Luke Starkiller (later changed to Skywalker)? This can't be right.' ... I was just astonished."

Hamill's innocence continued on the set of the movie, finding himself starstruck with some of his costars. He described his scenes with veteran actor Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, like a student learning from a master. One of the reasons audiences believed in Luke Skywalker was because the actor playing the character was living a similar life. He was plucked from relative obscurity and thrust into a leading role that would captivate seemingly an entire galaxy. (The film world, at least.) And it's partly because of his performance as Skywalker, which included a transformation from annoying teenager to mature Jedi, all by design by Hamill.

Now 70, Hamill has retained the youthful innocence George Lucas saw all those years ago that helped him land the role. In 2020, Hamill revealed that the whining can stop because yes, he finally made it to the Tosche Power Station.