A Bridge of Light

Luke Skywalker from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - illustrated by Stephen Fox
Luke Skywalker from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – illustrated by Stephen Fox

I’ve always really appreciated Mark Hamill. He can be boisterous, but it’s always in pursuit of giving his absolute BEST. He submerges into whatever he’s doing with passion and a commitment that doesn’t understand the meaning of “being embarrassed”. His Joker was vibrant while still being nuanced. His Luke was completely invested in the world around him. Even his contributions to Wing Commander are “all-in” endeavors.

Hollywood likes to use the word “typecast” in regard to icons like Mark Hamill, Adam West and others. Really though, these actors are held so rigidly into this mold because casting directors don’t understand what the word “actor” means. I kind of wonder if Mark Hamill was just too passionate—to uncool, for the establishment. That only makes me like him more.

I think Mark Hamill is a tremendous actor. In the entire “Force Awakens” film, the one moment that resonates with me most directly is the final shot—the shot of Luke Skywalker gazing vacantly at his old light saber.

You have to consider what was happening in that moment; the churning of history and agony happening in the character of Luke Skywalker. In the context of the story Luke wasn’t simply encountering a tool. As Rey extended her arm to return Luke’s symbol, his totem for justice, Luke looked back with apprehensive exhaustion. He had battled his own father with that saber. He’d stared at that very hilt more than once and wondered if it should be used to stop his maniacal nephew. Despite Luke’s commitment to the “Light Side”, he forever fell in the shadow of the Dark.

Luke’s emptiness wasn’t just about exhaustion, it was the real consequence of fighting a hopeless yet inescapable war. After achieving the impossible, Luke poured himself into a destiny he didn’t choose only to discover fate would take away everything he’d agonized to piece together.

All that is written on Mark Hamill’s face in this image. I really think it’s an impressive embodiment of the entire Star Wars saga. It’s the reason Mark Hamill perfectly embodied my first and longest-lasting hero.

In honor of Mark’s courageous commitment to his work, I’m kicking of this year’s mother of Instagram artist events—Inktober2017 with this image. Thanks for all the fun, Mark.

Luke Skywalker from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - illustrated by Stephen Fox
Luke Skywalker from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – illustrated by Stephen Fox

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