Mark Hamill Defends ‘Star Wars’ Prequels
If there's anything Star Wars fans absolutely love to dunk on – well, other than the long-lost intergalactic trash fire that was the holiday special– it's the franchise's prequels, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Widely disdained for their bad dialogue ("I am haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me"), boring storylines, and inclusion of the universe's most annoying theoretical sith lord, Jar Jar Binks, it seems the general consensus among Star Wars fans – except for the authors behind the inevitably recurring “Guys, The Prequels Aren't That Bad!” think pieces and a handful of contrarian zoomers – is that Episodes I II and III aren't great. As one blogger so aptly put it, “The Star Wars Prequels Suck Big Floppy Donkey Dick."
Amid this nearly-universal hatred, it seems the franchise's late 90's/early aughts installments have one notable advocate – the actor behind Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, who apparently took some time off from tweeting his own name to defend the film series for J.W. Rinzler's new book on Howard Kazanjian, producer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
“I was impressed the prequels had their own identity,” Hamill reportedly said of the widely-disdained trilogy in Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life. “They were criticized because they were exposition-heavy and more cerebral and probably, like he said back in 1976, they weren’t as commercial. It’s a darker story. But in the age of social media, people’s voices are amplified, and I’m shocked at how brutal they can be, not just in the case of ‘Star Wars’ films, but across the board.”
Yet aside from the aforementioned edgelord-y OpEd writers and nostalgic Gen Z-ers, Hamill may be alone in his appreciation of the prequels. In the book, Marcia Lucas, editor of the original three films and Star Wars creator George Lucas's ex-wife, says she hated The Phantom Menace so much, that she burst into tears after attending a screening of the flick (same).
“George is, in his heart and soul, a good guy and a talented filmmaker. I wish he would’ve kept directing movies,” the Oscar-winning editor recalled. “But when I went to see Episode I — I had a friend who worked at ILM, who took me as a guest to a preview — I cried. I cried because I didn’t think it was very good. And I thought he had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters.”
Despite having all those characters, Lucas says the actors portraying them, too, weren't up to snuff – namely, Natalie Portman. “I thought it was weird that the story was about this little boy who looked like he was six years old, but then later on he’s supposed to get with this princess who looked like she was twenty years old. There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story…it was a lot of eye candy. CG.”
Top Image: Shutterstock/Disney