Horror Icon Reportedly Pushed Mark Hamill for ‘Star Wars’

in Entertainment, Star Wars

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker taking off Vader's helmet in Return of the Jedi

Credit: Lucasfilm

One of the most iconic names in horror is actor Robert Englund, but he almost left a completely different legacy behind.

Englund is perhaps best known for his role as the nightmare-inducing Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1986), which he played until 2003. Most recently, Englund played Victor Creel in Season 4 of Stranger Things. Englund is a beloved name in horror, but his life and his legacy almost took a drastic turn.

Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger (L) and Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees (R) in 'Freddy vs. Jason'
Credit: New Line Cinema

Before he was Freddy Krueger, Englund assisted on another major horror film, John Carpetner’s Halloween (1978), gathering leaves to turn a California street in the summertime into a midwestern fall neighborhood. Even before that, however, he had a hand in influencing one of the most popular franchises of all time.

Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984
Credit: New Line Cinema

In 1977, the world would be introduced to Star Wars and its iconic characters, but there was almost a very different version of the film. According to Variety, Englund had reportedly auditioned for the role of Han Solo, which ultimately went to actor Harrison Ford. However, Englund must have seen something in the script and the film’s potential, because he urged his roommate to audition for the film as well, and it’s thanks to that that we have Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

Hamill has become one of the biggest names in entertainment, best known for Luke Skywalker as well as his voice acting work as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. It’s because of a failed audition and chance suggestion that some of the most iconic characters in pop culture are who they are.

luke skywalker x wing star wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

As Englund confirms he’s hanging up the fedora and knives for good, Ford and Hamill both have continued to step into the roles that made them household names, reappearing for several recent Star Wars projects. While Hamill and Ford both saw great success in their roles, Englund saw success of his own as A Nightmare on Elm Street became a franchise with nine films and a lasting impact on the horror genre.

Who else could have played Luke Skywalker? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

in Entertainment, Star Wars

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