As suddenly as it arrived, his brutal honesty is no more: Mark Hamill regrets his criticisms of his Last Jedi role. The Star Wars actor revealed his change of heart in a tweet posted on Dec. 26, which expressed disappointment in his own decision to "voice his doubts and insecurities in public." He's referring to comments he made on tape, in promotional interviews with outlets like SensaCline, where he was extremely critical of the director that director Rian Johnson had taken the character of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi.
Hamill doesn't go as far as to retract or apologize for anything he said, but he's clearly regretful for his choice of words. The actor retweeted a collection of four images, in which he praises The Last Jedi's direction and heaps further praise on Johnson, saying that he made a great movie and acknowledging that "creative differences are a common element of any project." The only difference in this case is that the 66-year-old actor aired his out publicly instead of processing them privately.
He says his only goal was to make a great movie, and he feels that the whole team succeeded in that, even in the face of his regrettable public criticism.
It's a marked change of tone — if not of heart — from the one struck by the actor just days before. Soon after The Last Jedi's Dec. 14 release, audiences flocked to social media to pick apart their criticisms with the film. They took issue with everything from Leia's survival to Admiral Holdo's hair color to whether porgs were adorable or terrifying and beyond. And Hamill brought his own fiery commentary to a topic that's particularly close to his heart: the plot arc of Luke Skywalker.
The actor has played the Jedi Knight ever since the first film in the franchise, in 1977, and he took issue with some of the choices made in its newest iteration. Specifically, Hamill didn't understand why his character would have completely retreated from the Force, his family, and his duty, and refused a call for help. In a taped interview published to YouTube by user JarJar Abrams, Hamill ranted that he hardly recognized Luke in the character set down on the page:
"Who is this guy? How did the most optimistic, hopeful character in the galaxy turn into this hermit who says, ‘It’s time for the Jedi to end'? I read that and I said, ‘What?’ That’s not what a Jedi does. I mean, a Jedi is optimistic, a Jedi has tenacity. He doesn’t secrete himself on an island."
In fact, the actor felt it was such a departure from the character he'd portrayed previously that he had to mentally convince himself that it was a completely different role:
"I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s ‘Jake Skywalker,’ he’s not my Luke Skywalker. But I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well."
And although Hamill notably doesn't take back anything he says, he does regret saying it at all. After 40 years inhabiting the same character, it's understandable to become more than a little opinionated and stubborn about your character's point-of-view. And Rian Johnson doesn't seem to have been too offended by the veteran actor's resistance to change.
As Hamill recounted in a May 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, the 66-year-old told his director, I "fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character." But clearly, filming went on, Skywalker's role wasn't cut, and the movie released as normal. Although Johnson never directly addressed Hamill's public statements, he did have some good-natured words for fans who were critical of the film.
This is clearly a franchise that is dear to many, and, after four decades and over a dozen films, there's bound to be some disagreement. But as long as we can take a page out of Hamill's book and respectfully admit when we've crossed a line, everything should be fine moving forward.