With Luke Skywalker Behind Him, Mark Hamill Reflects on ‘Contentious’ 'Star Wars' Fans

Brady Langmann
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Esquire

The past few years haven’t exactly been kind to those involved in the making of Star Wars movies. Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in the new trilogy, left Instagram after a harassment campaign aimed at her from a small (but vocal) group of Star Wars fans who didn’t believe in the progressive ideals put forward by the new filmmakers. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega saw similar backlash, too. Recently, though, Star Wars directors, like J.J. Abrams, have started to push back at fans. He told us that he hopes “we can return to a time where we give things a bit more latitude.”

As for Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself? Throughout the making of the new Star Wars trilogy—which saw Luke return to his whiny ways about midway through—Hamill repeatedly voiced his displeasure with the direction the filmmakers took with his character. But he largely directed it at the writing and direction of the films, holding off any shots at its fans—many were just as unhappy as him with old man Luke—until now. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Hamill talked about “contentious” fandom, and why he always tried to make the best Star Wars films he could.

“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. 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.”

Hamill has been synonymous with his galactic counterpart for over 40 years now—of course he’s passionate about the direction of Luke Skywalker, just as much as Star Wars fans are, even. They would likely have a problem if he didn’t give a shit, either. Everyone, from the people who made Star Wars, to the people who grew up watching the films, feel ownership over the story. So, he’s right: Whatever the best Star Wars movie looks like, everyone wants it to be the one they see in theaters. But, there is a line, when passion turns into harassment, which many Star Wars fans have crossed in recent years.

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