There are many different ways to judge the success of a film nowadays. Studios only seem to focus on a film’s box office return, the media always incorporates the response of critics, while actors and directors always insist that their film was made for the fans.
The early reaction for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” suggests it will be a critical darling, while it was always destined to be one of the highest grossing films ever, too. But I couldn’t help but wonder how Mark Hamill, who has already achieved the above with the original “Star Wars” trilogy, will judge if “The Last Jedi” is a success.
“I care about what the fan’s think,” Hamill insisted when I asked him that very question at the end of last month. In fact, Hamill even admitted that he’d occasionally tell Rian Johnson he was wary about the reaction of the fans to the film during production, only to be shot down by the director.
“A lot of times when we were shooting I would say to Rian, ‘I don’t know what the fans are going to think about it?’ And he’d go, ‘You don’t think about the fans. Think about the story, think about ourselves’.”
At the same time, though, Hamill admits that even the reaction of fans has to be taken with a pinch of salt, because they can go overboard. You only need to look at the vitriol repeatedly poured on the “Star Wars” prequels for evidence of how moviegoers can overreact, a point Hamill quickly made.
“Here’s the interesting thing. The prequels are amongst the most successful at the box office ever. And yet some people reacted so negatively beyond what I thought they should.”
“I go, ‘Yeah, maybe they could have had more humor and whatever.’ But it ruined your childhood? Proportion people, it is only a movie. Come on. They can be really harsh.”
“I think it is because they saw our films when they are little boys. And now they are 30 or 40 years old, and when they don’t get transported to their 8-year-old selves they feel disappointed.”
You’ll be able to judge the success of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for yourself soon enough, as the first reviews will emerge on Tuesday at 12pm EST, it is finally released on Friday December 15, and the box office figures will emerge shortly after.