Mark Hamill says he thought one element in Return of the Jedi was too “predictable”. The third installment in the original trilogy has proven to be divisive over the years. However, it is still considered to be one of the best movies in the Star Wars franchise in comparison to what came afterwards. The Ewoks were one of the big problems that a lot of people had at the time, along with a pretty dramatic tonal shift from The Empire Strikes Back, which is really dark when compared to what followed.
In a new interview promoting What We Do in the Shadows, Mark Hamill spoke about Return of the Jedi and one problem he had while making the movie. Some big changes happened in all three of the original trilogy installments, but Hamill wanted the envelope to be pushed even further. George Lucas disagreed and had to remind Hamill of what the Star Wars franchise is all about. Hamill explains.
“I remember complaining to George [Lucas] about something in Revenge of the Jedi. And I said, ‘It’s so predictable and pat,’ and he said, ‘Mark, don’t forget. These things were made for children.’ His original intention was to make movies for, you know, kids! Adolescents and younger. And we’re bringing our adult sensibilities to it and that’s where we go wrong.”
As for what Mark Hamill thought was “so predictable,” it has to do with the Luke Skywalker story arc. Hamill had some preconceived notions about where the character should be at that point in time after playing him in two movies, but George Lucas ended up steering the ship and the franchise’s focus. Hamill had this to say about what he wanted to change in Return of the Jedi.
“Well, I thought I was turning evil. Because I was wearing all black. I thought I would go to the dark side in the last one. And, of course, you have to redeem yourself. But that movie is the way I felt it was going with the preceding episode. But every actor wants to play their own evil twin.”
In the end, Mark Hamill nearly got his wish with Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. While Luke didn’t go to the dark side, he did do something that was completely unpredictable. Ironically, Hamill did not like the way Luke Skywalker was portrayed in the sequel trilogy, though he regrets saying that publicly. In the end, it all goes back to George Lucas. You can read what Hamill had to say about Lucas and wrapping up the first trilogy below.
“He’s the man. He knows what he wants, and I realized he was right. He said, ‘All fairy tales get tied up neatly at the end.’ Because I thought after Empire we should really go crazy as possible with the last one, but there’s a reason why George is where he is and I’m where I am.”
The Last Jedi may very well go down as the most divisive movie in the Star Wars franchise. Return of the Jedi still gets mixed reviews from hardcore devotees. But it’s a part of the original trilogy and it was the last one for nearly two decades. Nobody knew there would be more coming down the line except for George Lucas, who always wanted to make the prequels. You can check out a portion of the Mark Hamill interview below, thanks to the Sirius XM YouTube channel.