Classic Cinema: Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – By Jason S. Lockard


This month continue our look back at arguably the greatest sci-fi film series of all time, Star Wars. Many people feel that episode V is the best of the trilogy. This month we look back at that film featuring star of the month Luke Skywalker himself Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill was born on September 25, 1951 in Oakland, California. Mark one of seven children born to Virginia Suzanne and William Thomas Hamill, who was a Captain in the U.S. Navy. Mark started his education in California and than moved to California. By his junior year, his father was stationed in Japan, where Hamill attended and graduated from Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka and was a member of the Drama Club. He later enrolled at Los Angeles City College and majored in drama.

Mark’s career started with a recurring role on the soap opera General Hospital.. He would also have guest appearances on such shows as The Bill Cosby Show, The Partridge Family, One Day at a Time and others. But thanks to Robert Englund who was auditioning for a part in Apocalypse Now he walked across the hall where auditions were taking place for George Lucas’s Star Wars. After watching he realized that his friend Mark Hamill, would be perfect for the role of Luke Skywalker. The rest as they say is history.

Star Wars V The Empire strikes back follows the events in episode IV. Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance has been driven from their former base on by the Galactic Empire. Princess Leia leads a contingent including Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in a new base on the icy planet Hoth. The Imperial Fleet, led by Darth Vader, continues to hunt for the Rebels’ new base by dispatching probe droids across the galaxy. Meanwhile Luke must start his Jedi training under the tutelage of the great Master Yoda.

As with many actors who’s roles are so iconic typecasting can become a threat. However, this didn’t seem to detour him.  Mark kept busy doing voice work film, voice work and TV. He is probably best known for his voice work as the iconic Batman villain The Joker in Batman the animated series. He also played The Trickster in the 1990 short lived series The Flash and reprized his role in 2015 in the new CW series The Flash.

Star Wars fans are the most loyal in the world and when Star Wars VII was announced the world seemed to stop. Than when we heard Mark Hamill would return to be in Star Wars it nearly broke the internet. At the time of this writing the final countdown to the new Star Wars Movie is on!

Until next month when we conclude our look back at this amazing trilogy this is Jason S. Lockard reminding you if you want to see a great film check out a classic.

Moral Rating: violence
Audience: teens and adults
Genre: Adventure / Scifi
Length: 2 hours 4 minutes
Released: 1980
Rating: A+