Star Wars icon Mark Hamill says his criticism of The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s take on Luke Skywalker “was inartfully phrased.” Hamill, of course, shot to superstardom 40 years ago as the Tatooine farm boy-turned-intergalatic-hero Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope. After rounding out the Star Wars trilogy with impressive turns in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Hamill went on to successful career both in live-action and animated projects, becoming, among other things, a DC Comics legend as the voice of The Joker on episodic television and in features like Batman: The Killing Joke.
Hamill, however, has not been afraid over the years to use his voice in other ways, oftentimes giving blunt observations about politics, the entertainment industry and sometimes even projects he’s involved in — which turns out to be a pretty big deal when those projects are Star Wars films.
But in a interview with Variety on the red carpet of the Tony Awards earlier this week in New York City, Hamill took the initiative to clarify comments he made at Star Wars Celebration in April about The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson, where he discussed his disagreements with the writer-director about creative decisions he made regarding Luke in the film:
“I was quoted as saying to Rian that I fundamentally disagree with everything you decided about Luke, and it was inartfully phrased. What I was, was surprised at how he saw Luke. And it took me a while to get around to his way of thinking, but once I was there it was a thrilling experience. I hope it will be for the audience too.”
Fans who follow Hamill’s work already know that the actor admits to having an issue with speaking his mind and later regretting it. He also questioned J.J. Abrams’ handling of Luke in The Force Awakens, but in a class move later he deferred to the helmer’s decisions — and it was a gracious gesture clarify his comments about Johnson as well. Despite his criticism of Luke’s path in The Last Jedi at Star Wars Celebration, Hamill made it quite clear that he’s a big fan of Johnson, and went so far to say that the Brick and Looper helmer is “one of his all-time favorite directors.”
Now that the flap over the “inartfully phrased” Last Jedi comments appear to be behind Hamill, he may be soon facing more flak about other remarks he made on the Tony Awards red carpet, about how superhero movies “need better stories.” Whether we get a clarification about those remarks is yet to be seen.
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