Mark Hamill doesn’t know when Star Wars fandom “became so contentious”

Given how huge the Star Wars fanbase is — and how many generations it spans — it’s no surprise that the franchise’s fans are often divided when it comes to their opinions of the films. In particular, the two most recent Star Wars movies — The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker — have seen mass praise from one end of the fandom and aggressive criticism from the other.

Having appeared in six of the nine films in the Skywalker Saga, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) has been keyed in to everything the franchise has gone through since its inception. He’s been there for the good and the bad both, the praise and the ricicule. Speaking to The Daily Beast, the actor shared his thoughts on what the Star Wars fanbase has become:

I don’t know when, over the period of time, fandom became so contentious. But people are really opinionated, and you can’t help but be opinionated yourself, because you’ve lived with the character so long. So whether it was on Episode VII, VIII or IX, I’d have disagreements, and I would say to whoever it was, ‘Well, I don’t know if that’s right.’ But everyone shares the same goal: you want to make the best movie you can.

Of course, Hamill has inside knowledge of these things, and can attest that he and his coworkers tried to make the best movies they could when it came to this most recent trilogy of films. “I love the new cast,” he said. “I think the characters are great and all the actors are just perfect. I wish I’d gotten to work with them more, obviously, because I was so isolated. But you know, I never expected to come back at all. It was bittersweet, but I was able to enjoy it from a different perspective than years ago when I was in my twenties.”

Despite his enthusiasm, Hamill did recently confirm that he “can’t imagine” returning to the Star Wars universe, and after working on them for so many years, it’s hard to blame him. On the bright side, he’ll be moving onto other projects and new fanbases, beginning with a role on the vampire show What We Do in the Shadows. And if there’s one thing fans can count on, it’s that he’ll bring that same excitement to whatever he does. (And, hopefully, won’t face nearly as much criticism when doing so.)

Next: Mark Hamill can't imagine returning to Star Wars

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