Earlier this evening, Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill took part in a Reddit AMA session to raise awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As expected, the veteran actor fielded questions about a variety of geeky subjects, specifically Star Wars and the animated Batman series for which he voices the Joker. Hamill's responses were sweet-natured (he said "Oh gosh" a lot and at one point feared he might be offending cat people by saying he prefers dogs). But he was also thorough and detailed. Check out nine of his best responses below.
On first meeting Harrison "Han Solo" Ford:
"Well, I'd seen him in American Graffiti, and I did the screen tests with him. We just fell into our character roles. Luke idolizes Han Solo, it was such a great role because Hans was the cynic, the modern role in this fairly tale. It was just the right element in the stew for all the cynics in the audience. I just thought Harrison was fantastic, so perfect for the part. We fell into the role of mentor/student. They couldn't have made a better choice, and he can do no wrong. He's got a great sense of humor; it was fun to try to make him laugh."
On the surprise critical success of Star Wars:
"I didn't expect it to be a critical success. I thought people would like it because it took so many elements from movies we were familiar with: pirate, cowboy movies, war movies and added humor. That's the thing that got me: Science fiction usually isn't funny. They have an eight-foot furry dog driving a spaceship, he's naked except headphones, that's funny. Even if it doesn't get great reviews, it'll be a cult movie. People will go watch it at midnight because its so unique. I thought it would be popular but never thought it would be on the cover of Time magazine."
On his favorite music:
"I like Sixties rock & roll, the Beatles, the Kinks, Rolling Stones and Motown. It was a great decade for music. American rock & roll, British rock & roll, Motown. I have four sisters and two brothers so there was a lot of different kinds of music being played at my house. This one liked the Beach Boys, this one liked James Brown, so I heard it all."
On who would win in a fight between Luke Skywalker and Batman:
"Well, you know, Batman is physically much more formidable, but Luke has that Jedi magic. Maybe he'd use mind tricks. I hope it would never come to that because I think I'd have a hard time beating someone like Batman. My only hope would be mind tricks or running and hiding."
On his favorite lightsaber color:
"I just worked with Samuel L. Jackson, and he reminded me he had a purple lightsaber, which nobody had. I thought that was cool that he got his own color. My favorite is green; I'm happy with what I had. You don't need to give me lavender or raw umber or whatever."
On his fondest memory voicing the Joker:
"Oh I just remembered another thing where I got to sing a really creepy version of 'Only You" a capella. That wasn’t something I expected to do as Joker – sing a song. But the Joker is never boring to me because he’s crazy."
On the heavily mocked Star Wars holiday special:
"I thought it was a mistake from the beginning. It was just unlike anything else in the Star Wars universe. And I initially said that I didn't want to do it, but George said it would help keep Star Wars in the consciousness, and I wanted to be a team player, so I did it. And I also said that I didn't think Luke should sing, so they cut that number. And now, I think we shouldn't be ashamed of it. They should put on the extra of the DVDs – it shows how incredibly fallible we are! At that same time, it did introduce Boba Fett in an animated sequence, so it's significant in that respect. Plus Art Carney was in it, who is one of my favorite comedic actors of all time."
On what the inside of a Taun Taun is like:
"You know, warm and cozy. I also got inside a Bantha, those creatures that were outside the cantina. The inside of it was pasted over with newspapers and glue to give it substance, I thought, 'This is really odd.' I also got inside of Jabba, which was like a sauna bath, because it's like a big rubber enclosure. All the puppeteers had gone to lunch and I wondered, 'I wonder what it's like in there.'"
On what one scene he would change from the original Star Wars trilogy:
"There was a scene at the beginning of the first movie that was cut out. When you're first introduced to Mark, he's on the farm, and he sees the Robots, when R2 and C3PO eject he races to the club, and you see what his life is like on Tataouine. This beautiful actress calls him 'wormy.' I loved it bc you saw that he wasn't well liked by his peers, and he bumps into Garrick Hagon, and Luke is really excited because he has joined the empire, and Luke is so anxious to get off the farm and find his lot in life. He's thrilled that Biggs has joined the Empire, and feels as soon as he'd get the chance he'd join the rebel alliance. This shows that Luke is apolitical, and joining the empire is even attractive to him. They changed to get to the plot faster, so now it goes straight to the fourth scene. The only place you can see it is the novelization of the screenplay. With all the tweaking and adaptations, why not put it in to add detail to the story that's not there?"