Looking back on the film's release and the public reaction by fans, Hamill revealed that he was scared of the responsibility in returning to Luke Skywalker once again. ComicBook.com caught up with Hamill at the annual AARP Movies for Grownups Awards to talk about whether he was excited for this job.
"Any job is exciting, on a certain level. This one was just so high profile and scary because of the legacy involved," said Hamill. "And it wasn’t easy. It was challenging because I thought, 'What could have happened to this guy, who was the most optimistic character, to become suicidal and wanting the Jedi to end?' It wasn’t easy, believe me."
He almost seemed envious of his co-star Harrison Ford, who stepped back into the shoes of Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was back at it in the galaxy far, far away.
"Because Harrison came back and he was doing the same stuff: shooting monsters, flying spaceships, making his wonderful quips," Hamill said. "But that’s the challenge."
But Hamill appreciated how Luke's journey informed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and how the film's writer and director Rian Johnson tackled the daunting task.
"I adored working with Rian. He’s so easy to work with, and a great person. I’m glad I could pull it off," Hamill said. "Because if you really think intellectually how big it is, it’s so intimidating. I would be like curled up in a fetal position on the floor. I had to think it’s a small art house film that no one will see."
The actor revealed he needed multiple screenings to process the movie, and that he really enjoys it despite the negative reaction from some fans.
"I saw [the film] once by ourselves in a screening room, and I didn’t know what to think. Then the next time I saw it, I liked it better. And I saw it a total of four times, and it got better each time!
"But see, we didn’t have social media back in those days. In other words, I think Empire”would have been just as controversial at that time, because it wasn’t a redo of the first one," Hamill said. "And I think that’s the challenge now. You have to deliver what people want in a Star Wars film, but push the envelope. Offer them some surprises. [The Last] Jedi certainly did that.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes to Digital HD on March 13th, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 27th.
Additional reporting by Scott Huver.