Hamill Sticks Up For Prequels

Last night, Mark Hamill made a surprise appearance at the 30th anniversary showing of ROTJ sponsored by Entertainment Weekly in Hollywood, CA. During his chat session, he spoke about Star Wars past, present, and future. But he also took a few minutes to address the Special Editions and prequels:

Don’t complain to Mark Hamill about the Special Editions or the prequels. Hamill noted that his son Nathan helped keep him abreast of new developments in Star Wars fandom. “He’ll say, ‘Oh my god, Dad, Greedo shoots first now!’ I’ll say, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Let’s put this in perspective: Who cares?’” That led Hamill into a full-throated defense of the Star Wars prequels: “Jar Jar was supposed to be irritating! He’s irritating to the other characters in the movie!” He concluded by arguing that Lucas had earned the right to make Star Wars films in the manner he wanted. “Those aren’t sorta the movies he wanted them to be, they’re exactly the movies they wanted to make,” said Hamill. “And I’m not gonna criticize them at all.”

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22 Responses to “Hamill Sticks Up For Prequels”

  1. claireluna Says:

    That’s really cool of him, but then again Mark is generelly a really cool guy :) And an amazing voice actor!
    Also, I know I’m “late to the party” so to speak, but I only just now found this site, and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you created here.

    It’s nice not to have to defend yourself for like an hour, just because “Attack of the Clones” is my favourite Star Wars movie (and Padmé my favourite SW character… you can probably guess the reactions I get from most other fans) and even nicer to be bashed for liking something, like on 98 % of the internet.

    So thank you so much for creating a website like this guys!

  2. Mike S Says:

    Mark Hamill = classy dude all the way!

  3. oxward321 Says:

    Hamill just got some respect from me.

  4. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    Beautiful.

  5. lin Says:

    He knows George. I’d love to see more SW folks chime in and agree with him – Ian (who has done so previously but timing is everything, heh?), Carrie, who could joke about the contrast in number of wardrobe changes (which she has) – It would mean a lot if OT actors would (if they believe it) talk about how good the prequels really are. I’d love LOVE to see folks who changed their minds after hearing George explain what they didn’t “get” – Seth Green and those Midichlorians type of deal etc etc.

  6. Eduardo Vargas Says:

    He also said that he liked that the prequels had a distinct atmosphere. He said plenty of nice things.

  7. Boba's Vette Says:

    If he would have put down the prequels, it would have been “big news” for all the geek sites to headline. “Hamill SLAMS the prequels!!!”. But since he stuck up for both the PT and SEs, it will just get ignored for the most part.

  8. M. Marshall Says:

    Another May the 4th miracle!!!

  9. Brian Says:

    I frequent The Egyptian theater here in L.A. quite often, but am bummed that I missed out on this event, due to prior plans. However, in reading the comments on the prequels made Hamill, I gotta say it makes happy. I checked out the IGN article and, as noted above, I was pleased to read this:

    -As the Q&A was wrapping up, Hamill noted he had to be careful about what he said, because something small can be blown out of proportion, using the example of when he said he felt that the original trilogy was funnier than the prequels. Hamill stressed he felt, “The prequels weren’t meant to be [as funny]. They were much more solemn. I’m glad they had their own identity and atmosphere. You just have to be really careful, because I don’t want to criticize other people’s work. I love George. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s like you can criticize America, but if you go over to Europe and you hear other people criticizing it, it gets your dander up.”

    This is at http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/05/star-wars-episode-vii-mark-hamill-on-his-hope-for-a-balance-between-cgi-and-old-school-fx

    I just like his assessment being that the prequels weren’t meant to be the same as OT and can be enjoyed simply as something different.

  10. peacetrainjedi Says:

    I always had a good feeling about you, Mr. Hamill.

    I particularly liked his Jar Jar defense. It’s one that we all know very well, but the general Star Wars “fan”dom just cannot compute it. Jar Jar is mocked in-universe by the other characters. And Obi-Wan even goes so far as calling both Jar Jar and young Anakin “pathetic lifeforms,” so I do not see how there is even a problem if Jar Jar was the most unlikable character ever, he is meant to be a nuisance throughout much of the film. That being said, I think he is an incredibly likable character who just happens to be a bumbling fool, especially when he’s under stress. But that just adds to his likability, and his antics usually end up doing some good. I mean, he took down a droideka faster than Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan did in Episode I. Oh wait, what’s this? The Jedi didn’t take out any droidekas in Episode I. Pathetic lifeform, indeed. Your move, Obi-Wan, your move.

  11. derp Says:

    It’s amazing how many smart and funny things Hamill said that day.

    He is right about Jar-Jar, and I just say I also agree with him on using less CGI in the next movies, although I do love a lot the look of the prequels. It really is all about balance. There some things, like giant spaces battles, that are better done with CGI, others, like the inside of buildings, should be done with hard sets.

    Also, his description of Han-Harrisson and George Lucas was hilarious, a must watch.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Thing is, I think Hamill is making the same mistake a lot of others make that others make in assuming all of the effects in the Prequels were CGI. Most of the location work was done by physical models, and as defenders like us always say– each of the Prequel movies by themselves had more miniatures and models than the entire original trilogy combined.

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        One of the great mysteries surrounding the PT is that people started to see CGI where no CGI was…

        I don’t think you have to understand this.

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        I fear the distinction between “CGI” and “physical models” may be a little too fine for those who seem convinced “acting against bluescreen” places the mark of Cain on performances or just don’t like the way it looks. I’m not quite so convinced having a set behind someone makes all the difference when acting in front of movie cameras, but then I may be just as inclined to free speculation on the subject. One thing that seems halfway relevant to me here, though, is that the old Star Wars movies had at least some degree of “augmented reality” too with matte paintings, to say nothing of the backdrops being swapped out behind the gantry in The Empire Strikes Back…

      • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

        I did an article on this very thing a few weeks back.

      • derp Says:

        Really? Then I guess it is psychological more than anything. People see CGI where there isn’t because they are told there is some there, and therefore attribute to CGI ”imperfections” that actually come from models. And once they attribute to CGI elements and distinctions that come actually from models, they will see CGI whereever there is a model.
        Anyways, thanks for telling me the truth about models. You can be sure I’ll point it out the next time I encounter a Prequel basher.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      My impression is (and I may very well be wrong) that the average PT hater would not say anything about the CGI used in the PT if he/she liked the movies.
      Their way of thinking seems to be “CGI freedom -> George focused more on special effects than on story”. Now they make the (erroneous) conclusion “Less CGI = good -> More focus on story than on special effects”. (An implication that, mathematically, is wrong, it would be “more focus on story than on special effects -> not used CGI freedom that much”. Using more conventional special effects does not imply a better story…)

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        BTW, my comment is not aimed again derp or anyone else. And we can of course discuss which mix of CGI and “real” effects is the best.
        My impression is just that some haters (almost) come to the conclusion that the use of more old school effects will make the movie automatically better because “it is a sign that the ST will recapture the magic of the OT”. I do not think that it is that easy. (Hey, and what about the magic of the PT?)

  12. Buick Runner Says:

    Very glad to hear Mark say this and defend Lucas.

    I think a reaso for people confusing CGI and models is that they can combine different effects better for the PT than back when the OT films were made. But the ignorant geek crowd just assume it’s CGI, and assume that CGI is the root of all their problems.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      There’s bad CGI but there were bad old school style effects too.

      What’s funny is that the same people who want 1979 era visual effects in Star Wars movies made long after 1979 have NO problem at all with current flicks that make the prequels’ use of CGI look restrained and subtle by comparison.

      • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

        Yeah, that kind of thing makes me want to do the pod people alarm thing from the remake of “Body Snatchers.”

        Which reminds me, I need to see both versions of that from beginning to end…

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