The much-maligned Star Wars prequels have been in the news lately. Veteran editor and George Lucas’ ex-wife Marcia Lucas recently threw shade not just at J.J. Abrams but on the prequel trilogy as well. While most critics and fans have similar, though not as angry, opinions about the Star Wars prequels, Mark Hamill seems to like them more than others. Starting with the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999, George Lucas wrote and directed two more movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which came out in 2002 and 2005, respectively.
The films serve as prequels to the main Star Wars saga and chronicle the downfall of the Jedi Order and the transformation of Anakin Skywalker from a Jedi to a Sith Lord, Darth Vader. The films received mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike upon their release. Most of the criticism was aimed at the excessive use of CGI and what some would say is the self-indulgent and dull storytelling by Lucas. While the prequel trilogy has its fair share of defenders, they are in the minority.
But surprisingly, Star Wars legend Mark Hamill, who is known for playing the iconic Luke Skywalker, has come to the defense of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Mark Hamill has expressed his admiration for the films in an interview given to J.W. Rinzler for his book on producer Howard Kazanjian. IndieWire published excerpts of Hamill’s interview about the prequel trilogy from Rinzler’s newly published book, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life. Here is what he said.
“I was impressed the prequels had their own identity. 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.”
Mark Hamill, who just recently celebrated his 70th birthday, makes some valid points about the prequels being unconventional and how verbal attacks have worsened due to social media. Hamill has previously defended actor Jake Lloyd after he was viciously panned for his performance as young Anakin in The Phantom Menace. The previously mentioned book also features an old interview of Oscar-winning editor Marcia Lucas, in which she criticizes J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and the Star Wars prequels.
Lucas also talked about how she found The Phantom Menace so bad she started crying. Although it remains a fact that the Star Wars prequels are subpar compared to the original trilogy, they have enjoyed some newfound love in recent years. After J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson’s sequel trilogy left a bad taste in fans’ mouths, many of them started viewing the prequels in a new light. Like them or not, you have to give George Lucas credit for taking big risks and delivering a unique set of films. Liam Neeson is another Star Wars alum who’s praised The Phantom Menace.
Mark Hamill last appeared in the mind-blowing finale of The Mandalorian season 2. After being unceremoniously killed off in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni redeemed the character, and Hamill is set to reprise his role in The Mandalorian season 3. As we look forward to the return of young Luke Skywalker, you can check out the book Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life. The book offers more insight into the famed producer’s work with Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and George Lucas. Hamill’s quote comes to us from IndieWire.