Any director, no matter how successful their career may be, would have flinched at the thought. Any director would have supremely doubted themselves if they could do it, if they could truly step into a franchise so frenzied, beloved, and obsessed upon that even the tiniest misstep could and would ignite catastrophic reprimand from the fandom.
That's probably what J.J. Abrams felt before taking on Star Wars: The Force Awakens as director. But the film turned out great. Critics praised it for introducing new characters, new story arcs, and expanding the world. It ended on a cliffhanging high note, sending high-pitched shrieks of excitement from Star Wars fans at the thought of what would occur in the sequel.
Two years later, the sequel finally premiered, helmed by Brick and Looper director Rian Johnson. Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, and a skeleton crew of Rebels as the epic space opera saga treads on. Mark Hamill, returning as Luke Skywalker, is featured prominently in the film unlike in The Force Awakens, in which he appeared for barely a minute right at the end.
Yet as he read the script for The Last Jedi and discussed the character with Johnson, he disagreed about the Luke's arc. In a widely circulated interview, he criticized Johnson's handling of the character, saying:
"I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he's Jake Skywalker — he's not my Luke Skywalker."
But he has now retracted his criticism of the character, saying Johnson did a phenomenal job.
"I regret voicing my doubts & insecurities in public," Hamill tweeted Tuesday, Dec. 26. "Creative differences are a common element of any project but usually remain private. All I wanted was to make a good movie. I got more than that — [Rian Johnson] made an all-time GREAT one!"
So it's settled then. Though Hamill was initially apprehensive of the direction his iconic character went to, he now appreciates the film as a whole and praises Johnson for an all-time great film.
Despite audiences being divided on the The Last Jedi, ticket sales are still on fire. It just had the second-best opening weekend of all time, raking in over $220 million, and it's steadily closing in on a revenue of $900 worldwide. The film premiered Dec. 15.
Thoughts about Star Wars: The Last Jedi? How did you feel about Johnson's treatment of Skywalker? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!