‘Star Wars’ has always been an interesting topic with fans, even before the prequels there was a long-standing debate about whether or not the Ewoks had managed to destabilize the franchise with their ridiculous cuteness and obvious appeal to children and merchandizing. When the prequels hit, fans really began to hammer at George Lucas and wonder just what the man thought he was doing. Of course, while assigning blame for the first prequel, which, according to some, “ruined their childhood,” they of course took on the easy target of the 9 year old child actor tasked with carrying one of the largest franchises in the world while playing a character destined to become one of the most Avil villains in all of pop-culture. All of this with nothing but George Lucas’s clumsy dialogue and simple directions to help him navigate a sea of green screens and futuristic CGI. The poor kid never even had a chance, and apparently, Mark Hamill, in particular, has always felt bad for poor Jake Lloyd.
During a recent interview with Vulture while at the Sundance film festival promoting his new film ‘Brigsby Bear, Hamill was asked some questions about ‘Star Wars,’ especially in light of the recently released title of Episode VIII, and his comments went back to the prequels:
“I couldn’t believe some of the things they wrote about the prequels, you know. I mean really, beyond ‘I didn’t like it’. I’m still angry about the way they treated Jake Lloyd. He was only ten years old, that boy, and he did exactly what George wanted him to do. Believe me, I understand clunky dialog.”
Hamill also spoke about how he was almost interviewed for the 2010 fan documentary ‘The People vs. George Lucas,’ in which a group of fans came together to air their grievances about the prequels, but Hamill was not about to trash talk to the man who he owed so much to:
“I almost got hornswoggled into that documentary. They weren’t calling it ‘The People vs George Lucas’ at the time. But I could tell from the questions they were asking me that it was an open invitation to trash George. And I have issues with George, but I love that man I would never…you know I don’t talk outside the family. It’s just brutal…”
Sadly, all of the fan criticism led to Lloyd ending his acting career, and it seems as though his life outside of Hollywood is still marred by the intense hatred he felt from ‘Star Wars’ fans after his outing as young Anakin Skywalker. Is it fair to invest this much in movies that fans feel the need to take it out on those involved when the film does not live up to expectations? Was it right to expect that much of a child actor? I definitely say no, but then again, I was in my early teens when the movie came out, and while I did not particularly enjoy it, I was too young to really understand why.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Did you blame ‘The Phantom Menace’ on George Lucas? Jake Lloyd? Or just a misfire on all fronts? Share your thoughts in the comments below!