ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

Getting nominated for an Oscar is arguably one of the toughest things to accomplish as an actor, and winning is even tougher. The Academy seems to have a very narrow scope when it comes to the performances and films they deem worthy of nomination. The films and performances that usually get nominated are dramas that tackle hard-hitting issues, and we even have a term for such projects: “Oscar bait”.

The Star Wars franchise isn't synonymous with winning Oscars; however, J.J. Abrams seems to think this is going to change very soon. Abrams has seen Mark Hamill's performance in Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, and thinks that the performance is strong enough to win an Oscar.

J.J Abrams Thinks Mark Hamill Deserves An Oscar For 'The Last Jedi'

J.J. Abrams & R2-D2 [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]
J.J. Abrams & R2-D2 [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has wrapped filming and is being prepared for its release in December of this year. J.J. Abrams is one of the few people have seen any footage from the highly secretive sequel to The Force Awakens, and thinks that Mark Hamill’s performance in is great. How great? Well, per Abrams, good enough to win an Oscar.

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NY Daily News is reporting that during a recent discussion they had with Abrams at the Oscar Wilde Awards in L.A, he had this to say regarding Hamill's performance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

“I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark.”

Could Mark Hamill Win An Oscar For The Last Jedi?

First things first, only a few people have seen Hamill’s performance in The Last Jedi, therefore we don’t know if it is truly Oscar-worthy. Yet the bigger question at hand is: would the Academy recognize The Last Jedi or its actors in any of the major categories?

The Star Wars franchise has had a long affair with the Oscars; the seven saga films have garnered 27 nominations, but they have only won 7 times. Most of the nominations are for technical categories such as visual effects, sound, and score. Sir Alec Guinness was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, but that was back in 1978, and he is the only actor from the franchise to ever get a nomination.

Still, Guinness's nomination for Best Supporting Actor is a very good thing for future Star Wars actors, since it sets a precedent for an actor from a Star Wars film to be nominated. This precedent might actually help Mark Hamill out next year; were he to be nominated, it's likely he'd be nominated as Supporting Actor, like Guinness.

Mark Hamill’s performance in The Last Jedi will be the first time fans will hear him speak in the new trilogy – Hamill even took to Twitter joking about the amount of dialogue he had in The Force Awakens. For all we know, he could give one of the best performances of all time in The Last Jedi, and if that is the case, the fact that Star Wars has history with the academy might work in Hamill’s favor.

A Best Supporting Actor nomination could be a definite possibility – winning, on the other hand, depends on the competition as much as Hamill’s performance alone. Most recently, Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and it’s hard to see how the character of Luke Skywalker could even come close to the pure emotion Ali conveyed in Moonlight. Hamill’s performance in The Last Jedi could be a revelation, but until we see the film, it’s hard to imagine Hamill winning an Oscar for a Star Wars film.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens [Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm]

Seeing Hamill reprise the role of Luke will be an emotional experience for fans, and it will make his performance that much more powerful. Without having seen the film, I cannot say whether Hamill could get nominated for an Oscar, but it is more than possible, and stranger things have happened – even if winning is a long shot. We must wait to see if Mark Hamill delivers an Oscar-worthy performance when Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017.


Do you think Mark Hamill could win an Oscar for The Last Jedi?

(Source: NY Daily News)


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