Few actors embody the legacy and spirit of the Star Wars franchise like Mark Hamill, who first appeared in the original film as Luke Skywalker more than four decades ago. And while he's seen the fans through all of their highs and lows ever since the movie first released, Hamill admits that he still becomes shocked over their reactions and interactions from time to time. During a recent interview, Hamill reflected on the backlash to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and pointed out his own reasons for speaking with the filmmakers about his concerns, especially when it came to the sequel trilogy. Even then, he understood that everyone was trying to tell the best story possible.
"I don’t know when, over the period of time, fandom became so contentious. But people are really opinionated, and you can’t help but be opinionated yourself, because you’ve lived with the character so long," Hamill shared with The Daily Beast. "So whether it was on Episode VII, VIII, or IX, I’d have disagreements, and I would say to whoever it was, 'Well, I don’t know if that’s right.' But everyone shares the same goal: you want to make the best movie you can."
Following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm and announcement that it would be developing a sequel trilogy featuring appearances from Hamill and co-stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, some fans were thrilled by the idea of their beloved heroes reuniting for another adventure. With the films attempting to move the saga forward instead of merely bringing back familiar faces, the films largely only saw Hamill interacting on screen with Daisy Ridley's Rey.
"I love the new cast. I think the characters are great and all the actors are just perfect," the actor added. "I wish I’d gotten to work with them more, obviously, because I was so isolated. But you know, I never expected to come back at all. It was bittersweet, but I was able to enjoy it from a different perspective than years ago when I was in my 20s. So it was just fun to be a part of it, and it was sad in a way, because I knew it would be the last time I’d ever play Luke."
Fans caught their first glimpse at Luke in a wordless moment at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi focusing on Luke following his struggles with the Jedi ways, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker featured Luke's Force ghost reminding Rey not to make the same mistakes he made.
The entire Skywalker Saga is available now on Disney+.
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