Luke Skywalker, the dreamy-eyed kid who fantasized about a life beyond his dirt farm in Tatooine, has come full circle: Mark Hamill turns 65 today, making him three years older than Alec Guinness was when he portrayed wise old Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars.
Hamill was just 25 years old when he was cast in George Lucas’s space opera, having auditioned at the urging of friend (and future Freddy Krueger) Robert Englund. Hamill was paid $1000 a week during shooting, and later received a quarter of one percent of the film’s profits; 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back netted him $1 million. We can only speculate that the Disney vault rewarded him accordingly to return as Skywalker for The Force Awakens.
To celebrate Hamill’s special day, have a look at his original audition reel for Star Wars, which is punctuated by someone saying, “Okay, good” off-camera and then coughing. It's Hollywood movie magic, kids!