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Author Topic: Mark Hamill's car accident
Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I've heard a lot of differing stories on the car accident Mark Hamill was involved with all those years ago. Most claim that he required extensive reconstructive surgery on his entire face.

Then there was one poster on an MB that claimed Mark Hamill got involved in the car accident on purpose to get out of some contract (for a TV-show if I remember correctly).

During the brief time of my Star Wars obsession I purchased a magazine featuring an interview with him. What he had to say about the accident was:

quote:
"I had the accident way before Star Wars came out, but what really happened has been terribly distorted. I broke my nose, that's it! But I've read accounts about how my face has been reconstructed with plastic surgery and how I was pulling myself along the highway with one arm looking for help. I even heard that I drove off a cliff! That's the best one of all."
I'd guess that Mark is telling the truth but it's a story that seems to reappear frequently in different forms.

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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That rumor mutates a lot. I once heard--I am not making this up--a fan say that Hamill was so in character for the movie that he hallucinated a Jawa crossing the road and swerved to miss the little guy.

Brad "Why did the Jawa cross the road?" from Georgia

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
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Hi, my name is Paul Unwin
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I heard that the accident took place before The Empire Strikes Back came out and that the scene with the Wampa was put in (or modified) to explain Hamill's facial scars.

Come to think of it, his cheek doesn't look scratched or anything when he's in the cave, and I never really made the connection between his scars and the Wampa attack until years later. There was a scene shot that I've seen pictures of in which a droid remove some kind of bandage from his cheek, but of course it was cut.

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Now you have me who think Mark Hamill doesn't look all that different from Star Wars to The Empire Strikes Back, then you have the rest of my family who says, "Oh gawd are you serious? He looks soooo much different! He was soooo much cuter in Star Wars then in The Empire Strikes Back he looks TOTALLY different!" They claim that he had to have his entire face completely reconstructed, etc.

I'm curious what other people think? Maybe he looks a tad more... worn in, but I don't think he looks completely different, nor do I think I'd have thought much of it without people discussing his accident and his "new face".

I'd like to know once and for all exactly what happened to him. My family has always said it was a motorcycle accident.

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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I'll have to dig through my archive of Star Wars stuff tonight. I think he talks about it in an early issue of People. My recollection is that he was under contract to begin work on the TV show Eight is Enough when Star Wars became an unexpected hit.

He was trying to get out of the TV contract with no success. Intentionally or not, he was in the accident (I believe he flipped his car, not motorcycle), and during his recovery was released from the TV contract, freeing him for TESB.

I personally didn't see much difference in his face between the two films, other than a few years of maturity.

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--Tootsie

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Top Kat
Deck the Malls


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I have a children's magazine ("Dynamite") from 1978, which contains the following paragraph:

"A couple of years ago, Mark had a bad accident. He drove his car off a California freeway. 'The accident made hamburger out of my face,' is the way he puts it. 'It took a lot of special effects at the hospital to put it back together again. Part of one ear was used to rebuild my nose.'"

But I have also read the interview where he says the accident was much exaggerated! So, who knows!

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Grumpy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I also heard the story as pre-Empire. In fact, it was supposedly not long before the much-loathed Star Wars Christmas Special. Legend has it Hamill's drugged-up appearance was due to painkillers prescribed after the accident.

Carrie Fisher's drugged-up appearance, of course, was due to drugs.

--Grump "Itchy, Lumpy, and Bea Arthur -- oh my!" y

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Thera
I Saw Three Shipments


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Starwars.com has this:
quote:
A car accident in early 1977 did extensive damage to Hamill's face, and the actor underwent reconstructive surgery prior to filming The Empire Strikes Back.
Doesn't sound like just a broken nose to me. My guess is Hamill is now underplaying what really happened. To me, his face did change a lot between the first and second movie; he looked a lot rougher.
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crb
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't know if it was a Lucas interview or Hamill interview, but from what I remember, Mark had the accident before they shot Empire. The opening scenes of Empire creatively hide Mark's face. They have him wrapped up for the cold. And you don't actually see anything clearly until he gets rescued and is being pulled out of the bacta tank. (That slimy stuff)

crb

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Flowers and Candy Q.
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Personally, the SW movies are the only ones I can actually tell it's him in! In everything else that he's been in, I always have to think really hard to figure out who he is. His voice seems to always change a little from appearence to appearence, though my ears could just be hallucinating.

-Candy "The Larry 3000" Q.

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Grumpy
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I know what you mean, Candy Q.. They say Mark Hamill plays the Joker in the Batman cartoons, but it doesn't look anything like him! [Wink]

BTW, Hamill's explanation of "way before Star Wars came out" must mean, like, after it was filmed, but "way before" the premiere, i.e. by several months.

--Grump "may the farce be with you" y

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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There's a really weird take on Mark Hamill's accident in Peter Moon's "Black Sun: Montauk's Nazi-Tibetan connection" (Sky Books, 1997). This ludicrous conspiratorial tome (which ties together the Philadelphia Experiment, escaped Nazi scientists, flying saucers and Nazi occultism) has a chapter headed "Project Paperclip and the Hamills". The chapter refers to the film Philadelphia Experiment II in which Mark Hamill starred. On page 87, Moon writes:
quote:
[A]n article in "Variety"... mentioned that Mark Hamill had a car accident in the late 1970s and had become disfigured in the face. It is said that reconstructive plastic surgery gave him a new look that he sported for... Return of the Jedi. What Preston [Nicholls, one of Moon's "sources"] had been saying for years now made sense to me. Despite Preston's desire to be legally cautious about Hamill, he always said that he was never sure if the Mark Hamill he knew was the some one who starred in the movies. At this point, I had to seriously wonder of the "new" Mark was a double.


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You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
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Kamino Neko
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Mark is dead!

Tengu 'I am the Jawa, goo goo ga joob.' Nekogami

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Merry Merry-go-round, Funky Funky Playground

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Flowers and Candy Q.
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Tengu Nekogami:
Mark is dead!

Tengu 'I am the Jawa, goo goo ga joob.' Nekogami

But don't worry, his head is crygenically frozen and is being stored beneath Skywalker Ranch. :lol [Wink]
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Pixxxie
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy:
I also heard the story as pre-Empire. In fact, it was supposedly not long before the much-loathed Star Wars Christmas Special. Legend has it Hamill's drugged-up appearance was due to painkillers prescribed after the accident.

Carrie Fisher's drugged-up appearance, of course, was due to drugs.

--Grump "Itchy, Lumpy, and Bea Arthur -- oh my!" y

I have the xmas special on VHS somewhere. I spent $8 or so on it at a sci fi con awhile ago, lol.
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