Mark Hamill’s Performance In The Last Jedi Is Apparently Oscar-Worthy

As evidenced by this year’s performances by Emma Stone, Viola David, Casey Affleck, and Mahershala Ali, it takes a lot to win an acting Oscar—much less be nominated for one. But according to Star Wars: The Last Jedi executive producer J. J. Abrams, Mark Hamill’s performance in the eighth episodic of the Star Wars saga is indeed worthy of an Academy Award. To be more specific, Abrams’ exact quote was “I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark.” Strong words, to be sure.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens director made the bold statement this past Thursday at the Oscar Wilde Awards, a ceremony held to recognize the work of Irish people in the entertainment industry. He went on to commend Hamill’s adaptability and versatility, calling Hamill “hysterically funny” and claiming that “he can do anything.”

Abrams’ confidence in Hamill is certainly exciting and somewhat reassuring—after realizing that Hamill didn’t even have a speaking role in 2015’s The Force Awakens, it’s nice to definitively know that his role in The Last Jedi will be more substantial.

And we’d certainly support a Hamill Oscar nod—the closest that the Star Wars actor has gotten to winning an Oscar was back in the early ’80s, when he won two Saturn Awards for playing Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (Fun Fact: Hamill was nominated for Star Wars: A New Hope but lost the award to renowned actor and comedian George Burns).

Plus, in addition to being a great live-action and voice actor (his second most well-known role is, arguably, as the Joker in various Batman animated series) Hamill seems like an overall great person, regularly making a point to discuss social and political issues online and engage with fans via Twitter. In fact, when a recent behind-the-scenes still from The Last Jedi was posted to Twitter, Hamill swiftly responded with this lengthy, light-hearted hashtag:

The Star Wars franchise generally hasn’t had the greatest luck at the Oscars; though the films have been nominated for (and won a few) technical awards, only one Star Wars actor—Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi—has ever been nominated for an Academy Award. We’ll have to wait until The Last Jedi comes out on December 15 to see if Hamill really does have the acting chops to break the Star Wars Oscar curse.