Mark Hamill has spoken about the Star Wars prequels, defending George Lucas' controversial trilogy.
"I was impressed the prequels had their own identity," the Luke Skywalker actor said, quoted in J.W. Rinzler's book Howard Kazanjian: A Producer's Life (H/T IndieWire). "They were criticized because they were exposition-heavy and more cerebral and probably, like he said back in 1976, they weren't as commercial. It's a darker story. But in the age of social media, people's voices are amplified, and I'm shocked at how brutal they can be, not just in the case of Star Wars films, but across the board."
The prequels – The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith –have been heavily criticized since their release, though many fans do express their appreciation for the films and their expansion of the galaxy far, far away (and, of course, the memes).
Hamill played Luke Skywalker in all three movies in the original Star Wars trilogy, returned for the sequels, and then reprised his role for The Mandalorian season 2 finale.
Star Wars editor Marcia Lucas also spoke about The Phantom Menace for the book: "When I went to see Episode 1 – I had a friend who worked at ILM, who took me as a guest to a preview – I cried. I cried because I didn't think it was very good. And I thought [George Lucas] had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters." She also criticized the burgeoning love story between Anakin and Padmé, and said: "There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn't like about the story… it was a lot of eye candy. CG."
The editor also had some sharp criticism for the sequel movies: "The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me – 'J.J. Abrams, [Lucasfilm President] Kathy Kennedy – talk to me.'"
The prequels are getting a Disney Plus spinoff in the form of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which will reportedly arrive next year. Ewan McGregor will return as the titular character, while Hayden Christensen is back as Anakin Skywalker.
While you wait, check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.