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This Is How Mark Hamill Really Feels About The Star Wars Prequels

You don't need us to tell you that the "Star Wars" prequels are considered a low point in the franchise. But let's take a look at those Rotten Tomatoes ratings anyway. "The Phantom Menace" (1999) currently sits at just 52% Fresh (aka Rotten) among the critics, and 59% Fresh among the audience. "Attack of the Clones" (2003) fared a bit better among the professional movie watchers with a 65% critics' score, but it received a paltry 56% from the fans. "Revenge of the Sith" (2005) is technically the best "Star Wars" prequel with an 80% critics' score and a 66% audience score. But those numbers don't exactly redeem the entire prequel trilogy.

It's not difficult to find opinions about why the prequels didn't live up to the originals. Take this one from Marcia Lucas, who co-edited all three of the original trilogy movies (although she didn't receive credit for "The Empire Strikes Back"), and who was married to George Lucas from 1969 to 1983. "When I went to see 'Episode I'... I remember going out to the parking lot, sitting in my car and crying. I cried. I cried because I didn't think it was very good. And I thought he had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters (via Slashfilm)."

Ouch. But the prequels have one defender whose name isn't George Lucas: Luke Skywalker himself. Here's what actor Mark Hamill recently said.

Luke Skywalker thinks the sequels deserve to have a better reputation

Mark Hamill shared his opinion about the prequels in an interview for J.W. Rinzler's biography, "Howard Kazanjian: A Producer's Life," about "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" producer Howard Kazanjian:

"I was impressed the prequels had their own identity," Hamill said, per IndieWire. "They were criticized because they were exposition-heavy and more cerebral and probably, like [George Lucas] 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."

Hamill is definitely correct when he characterizes the prequels as darker than the original trilogy. They tell the story of how Anakin Skywalker turns away from the Jedi and becomes Darth Vader. Ending with Anakin's fall from grace retroactively sets up Luke to redeem the Skywalker family in the original trilogy.

As for the "not commercial" part, George Lucas has admitted as much about the prequels before. In Paul Duncan's 2020 book, "The Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III 1999-2005" Lucas said: "I told people at Lucasfilm that they're going to have to face the reality that I'm making a movie that nobody wants to see, but I want to tell that story. I'm more interested in telling the story than I am in just doing a franchise where you tell the same story over and over again (via Digital Spy)."

In that light, maybe Hamill has a point and we should give Jar Jar Binks another chance (kidding, obviously).