The Joker is about as far removed from Luke Skywalker as one can get, but that’s what was so wonderful about it for actor Mark Hamill. Certainly, Hamill is best known for playing the Star Wars hero throughout the franchise, as Luke is one of pop culture’s most famous heroes. Forever, Luke will be one of the first characters people think of when discussing fictional heroes from movies and television history.
Playing such a revered good guy was great for Hamill, but after spending a couple of decades synonymous with the Star Wars hero, Hamill wanted to take on a new challenge. By the early 1990s, he was looking to play a particularly villainous character, someone that could be considered the polar opposite of Luke Skywalker. At this time is when the opportunity to voice the Joker for Batman: The Animated Series came along, as Hamill reveals in a new tweet celebrating the show. The role was exactly what he was looking for, the actor says.
“I wanted to play a character that was the exact opposite of Luke & found it in this series. No joke,” Hamill noted.
Batman: The Animated Series premiered in 1992, featuring Kevin Conroy as the voice of Bruce Wayne opposite Hamill as the Clown Prince of Crime. The voice cast has also included Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Melissa Gilbert, Robert Costanzo, Arleen Sorkin, Adrienne Barbeau, Roddy McDowall, Ed Asner, and Ron Perlman.
Mark Hamill Has Become A Fan Favorite Joker
These days, Mark Hamill is often named by fans as a favorite Joker, even in comparison to popular live-action versions like Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Hamill has often expressed how grateful he is to have landed the role of the Joker, so he does not take it for granted. In 2019, he similarly posted to Twitter a message noting how much that role meant to him, suggesting it had even become more valuable than Luke Skywalker. The actor also appreciates how the role allowed him to channel his darker side, giving him an odd enjoyment from frightening young viewers.
“I can not tell you how much 1 single role has meant to me,” Hamill tweeted. “Because of him people recognized the gleeful psycho within-Because of him a new career of megalomaniacal villainy opened up & I was now able to frighten young children-I will be grateful for that … Forever.”
It also means something that Hamill remains such a popular Joker, even with more and more new interpretations coming and going over the years, both in animation and live-action. The laugh he provides for the character in particular has become the definitive “Joker laugh” for many fans, which has also resulted in Hamill reprising the role in many animated projects and video games in the years since the original animated series. And perhaps none of it would have happened if Hamill hadn’t played one of pop culture’s most heroic heroes of all time in the Star Wars franchise.
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