Each month, the Far Far Away Radio blog will present a critical analysis of the stars of Star Wars: Episode VII and their beards. There are worlds of story hidden within a man’s beard, and it would be reckless to let such ripe sources of speculation slip through Star Wars news reports with hand-waving comments like “Oh, Mark Hamill looks good in a beard,” or “Domnall Gleason’s beard totally has an Obi-Wan vibe.” Here at Far Far Away Radio, we believe it is our responsibility to not just inform and entertain, but to do so thoroughly and reasonably. Thus, we proudly present A Beard Feeling About This (hairstyles above the ears need not apply).
Recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the social media world and the real world by storm. It seems like everyone has poured varying amounts of probably-freezing-but-most-likely-warm-because-nobody-can-determine-water-temperature-on-video water on their heads, and that doesn’t exclude some of the primary members of the Episode VII cast: Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Daisy Ridley does not have a beard, and therefore does not pertain to this analysis, so let’s take a look at Mark Hamill, our old, rugged Luke Skywalker, and his full, fluffy, multicolored beard.
The fullness, the fluffiness… Am I looking at Mark Hamill, or am I looking at a baby Ewok sitting on a 62-year-old human’s shoulders? His facial fur seems to extend a good several inches from his face, tempting onlookers to grab a full handful of beard in each of their sweaty paws, digging and digging through layers of fluff in search of the man’s once-bare skin. But what does it mean?
The process of growing a beard is itchy, uncomfortable, and generally tumultuous. However, once it reaches a certain length, the beard seems as if it belongs there, like it’s just an extension of one’s face. But the strength, resolve, and red-blooded courage it takes to endure that process tells a story all its own. What does the fullness of Hamill’s beard tell us about Luke’s character? His life has been difficult but full, and it is nearing completion. Does this mean Luke’s death is imminent? In my professional opinion, the answer is “no.” The beard may be full, but there is more beard to be grown.
Hamill’s beard has taken on a dull-gray, dusty color, reminiscent of his once-shimmeringly blond hair. The darker chin and mustache areas are flanked by a lighter shade of gray that eases onlookers toward the assumption that while this man may be old, he’s not that old. That strip of dark-gray on his chin reminds us that there’s some vitality left in Hamill, and that, perhaps, Luke Skywalker, while old and possibly jaded, still has at least one good fight in him. It’s safe to conclude that based on the two distinct shades of gray (or is it “grey,” since he’s in England?), that Luke Skywalker will be battered down and rugged, but the Force remains strong with him.
The Effects on Other Parts of His Face
Simply put, Mark Hamill’s beard makes him look sad and weary, but it also makes him look majestic. Luke Skywalker is a stoic warrior monk, but he has lost something, or somethings along the way. His eyes now fold into shallow wrinkles that now lead into an impressive, meaningful beard, rather than big, bald cheeks.
One final note about Mark Hamill’s beard in the ASL Ice Bucket Challenge Video. The water rolls right off. His hair is soaked, matting darkly against his skull, while the beard remains firm and dry. Friends, fans, and countrymen, Mark Hamill’s beard is waterproof.
Revelations and speculations galore; who knew a man’s beard could tell us so much about the galaxy far, far away? Just by looking at some facial hair, we know Luke has led a complete but troubled life, and that he’s still ready for more action. We may even deduce that Luke has manipulated the Force to increase his resilience to water.
We’ll be back when new photos of Hamill, Gleason, and other Star Wars actors are released, but, until then, I’ve got A Beard Feeling About This.