Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Accident

If you were a Star Wars fan in the early days, you undoubtedly heard that Mark Hamill was in a car accident around the time that the first movie wrapped filming.  You may also have heard a wide variety of stories about the damage done (or not done) to his face, when the accident occurred and what impact it had on the filming of the second movie. 

Authoritative answers to those questions don't seem to be forthcoming, in large part because Hamill himself seems to have told conflicting stories. At the time, he reportedly told Dynomite magazine that the accident had "made hamburger" out of his face; years later, he seemed dismayed at the stories surrounding the accident and said that he'd only broken his nose.

Whatever the details, the truth is that Mark Hamill returned to film the second and third movies looking pretty good; there's nothing about him at all that says "guy who smashed his face in a bad car accident".  Though there was a lot of talk at the time about how different he looked in the second movie (I'll admit that I didn't think he was as attractive in the latter films), I showed before and after pictures to my teenage daughter who knew nothing about the accident yesterday, and she didn't see any difference.  Or rather, she attributed the slight difference she saw to something intentional that fit the story.

These are the pictures I showed her: Mark Hamill Before and After

Looking at these two pictures next to one another, it's clear that Hamill's hair is darker in the later films--something I'm not sure I noticed at the time.  He also has an older, harder look--but my kid not only suggested that this fit the movies and might have been intentional, but pointed out that we see the same kind of change in Anakin between Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars.  In other words, it might very well have nothing to do with any damage or reconstruction Hamill may or may not have undergone.

I'd have to say that if there is a change, it's not significant enough to have harmed his career based on his looks--but based on the rumors and perception?  I'm not sure.


  1. Thank you so much... i didnt have the knowledge in this now i get an idea about this.. thks a lot

    Accident Claim

  2. Anyone who does facial drawings, evaluating models and faces could see the difference off bat. I thought Mark looked much more mature and handsome as the upside of having half of his face possibly paralyzed/snashed but being young his skin and nerves healed quick to do the other movies. But in Mark getting older you CAN TELL from the facial muscle drooping and nerve drag the toll the accident did. Age makes faces loose but the damage from the accident keeps the underlying skin nerves, muscles and cell tone degraded. If the world and Hollywood hadn't put him on a permanent pedestal of 'goody innocent farmboy' as a screen image (like Cary Grant was 'pure handsome decent' stuck, or Chris Reeves/Superman) Mark could have went far, into character like/lead roles, aka Walkens or Nicholson, where classic stereotypical handsome looks he had as a 20yo were NOT needed or wanted. He did a recent indy movie kickstarted, playing a deranged mob boss (but I felt too ledger/nicholson jokerish) called Sushi Girl. You can Youtube Search for the promos and there's a Facebook page?

  3. Mark Hamill face changed drastically because of accident and subsequent surgery operation. So that he appear to be another person with that same face. there are pictures at almost the same time, in which this difference is very clear: his nose changed, his eyes became prominent his mouth appear to be larger and superior lips is prominent. From a deep look, Romanian noose and pretty face to a duck face. That's all. (yes your mind knows it is him but his face drastically changed.

  4. I think anyone who understands proportion and also that with age the nose just grows, and doesn't get flatter and shorter, will 100% notice it.
    There is a very big difference. Look at his side profile and you will see. His nose got shorter, smaller, but from front it is wider. Also his cheek bones disappeared, I am betting his teeth are also different because they push his upper lip out and there is a scar above his lips, and another under his nose. Also a weird darker spot on his nose.
    If you watch A New Hope, you will see all the differences.

    I feel bad for him. Because yes, he certainly started as a cute, good looking guy, then the accident ruined his face, and since he was definitely categorized as "cute, good guy" he couldn't get anymore major roles.... He most probably would have more roles, if the didn't break his face.

    Well, at least he voiced Joker :)


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