Luke Skywalker never said a word in Star Wars: The Force Awakens so the only thing we had to go on to show how the character had changed is the way he looked. It turns out that Mark Hamill really enjoys this change to his character, so much so that he's keeping the beard. Well, if we're being honest, it's not Hamill who loves the beard, it's his wife, but the actor says if she likes it, then it works for him too. According to Hamill...
Believe me, pick your battles, don't sweat the small stuff. If she likes it, I like it. I'm still getting used to the fact that every time you sip something like coffee, dab dab dab. And it's a little itchy but that gives me gravitas! Just by definition, Jedi must grow a beard.
Mark Hamill made the confession that he's keeping the beard to make his wife happy over the weekend at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. It seems that for him it's actually taking some getting used to, but he also seems to like the "gravitas" that he feels it gives him. It certainly helps Luke Skywalker look like a menacing badass when he removes his hood at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He probably looks less like a badass when coffee drips off his chin though.
Make Hamill is right, however, that when it comes to elder Jedi, a beard is pretty much required. Whether we're talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi or Qui-Gon Jinn, beards are par for the course when you become a Jedi master. From everything that we have come to believe about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the first trailer has seemed to confirm it, Luke will be in the role of teacher this time around and all teachers have had beards.
If there's a downside to the beard it's probably that it makes all of us who have been fans of Star Wars for around 40 years realize how old we actually are. Mark Hamill was a literal teenager when he first played Luke Skywalker. Now, he's 40 years older and some of us aren't necessarily willing to accept that we're also 40 years older.
There may be one other reason that he's decided to keep the beard and that's because he'll need it sooner rather than later. The word is that Star Wars: Episode IX could begin filming as soon as this July. If he shaved the beard now he'd basically have to start regrowing it immediately in order for it to be back in time to start shooting.
What's your call on Mark Hamill's Star Wars beard? Let us know in the comments.