During my wide-ranging discussion with Mark Hamill to mark the release of The Last Jedi we touched upon a variety of Star Wars related topics, from “A New Hope” to his emotional return to the Millennium Falcon, while also finding room to talk about George Lucas, too.
But I have to admit, I didn’t expect to hear Hamill’s thoughts on the “Star Wars” prequels, which started off with 1999’s “Phantom Menace,” continued with 2002’s “Attack Of The Clones,” and concluded with 2005’s “Revenge Of The Sith.”
While they grossed the combined total of just under $2.5 billion at the box office, they were heavily maligned by fans for moving away from the sci-fi spectacle that made the original three films so beloved. But it turns out that’s exactly what Mark Hamill loved about them.
“What I thought was great about the prequels was the different technology that I had never seen before. All that CGI. And the fact that [George Lucas] wasn’t trying to do the same experience all over again.”
According to Hamill, George Lucas’ trajectory with the “Star Wars” prequels at least took the films down a brand new terrain, while J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” instead tried to tap into what made the original films so popular.
“I thought ‘The Force Awakens’ did that more than the early ones, because it had that the girl from a different planet, the death star, the Cantina sequence.”
When I asked Hamill whether that was Abrams’ intention, he responded, “Of course! He was trying to figure out what was it about the original movies that everybody loved. And that’s a different thought process than what George would have done. Because he would go, ‘I had a beginning, middle, and an end’.”
We’ll get to see whether “The Last Jedi” was just as heavily influenced by “Empires Strikes Back” as “The Force Awakens” was by “A New Hope” when it is finally released on December 15.