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It's no secret that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has spurred a wide variety of opinions. The film took some big swings, and some of the decisions made didn't initially sit well with certain people, not the least of which included none other than Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill. Having said that, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson opened up in a recent interview and explained that his conflicts with Hamill were more collaborative than detrimental to the project. Per Johnson:
It was definitely a thread throughout the whole [making of the film] and it was a conversation with Mark throughout the whole thing. We talked about it, we thought through it, we butted heads about it... we did all the stuff that you always do with an actor with a part --- even moreso because it's Mark Hamill and it's about Luke Skywalker, and because it was such a big decision --- the way that his character went in the movie. I feel like it maybe comes across as if that's what our relationship was the whole time, but it wasn't.
If you have read about Mark Hamill's thoughts and feelings towards Star Wars: The Last Jedi, then you likely already know what Rian Johnson is referring to here. In fact, upon initially reading the script for the film, Hamill even admitted that he was "appalled" by Episode VIII's direction. However, Johnson seems to assert that this head-butting was no different than the conflict experienced on any other film set, and the conflict didn't define their working relationship. Johnson and Hamill simply both understood the weight of bringing this character back for one more adventure.
In Rian Johnson's eyes, this struggle ultimately served to help make the film better. The director continued in his interview with The Los Angeles Times and explained how he hopes that the release of The Director and The Jedi documentary highlights those qualities. Johnson said:
Even when we were having conflict about it, it was constructive in terms of me having to articulate why I made the choices I made. I do think that comes across in the doc. It's an aspect of the storyline of the making of this movie.
Of course, now audiences will have to wait and see what Rian Johnson can do with a pure, blank canvas to construct his narrative. The Looper director is currently in the process of developing his own Star Wars trilogy that will take the story away from the legacy of the Skywalker family, meaning he will have total freedom to create in this new corner of the galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Pick up your copy of the film today and start gearing up for the release of Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will debut in theaters later this year on May 25. As for the next installment in the current trilogy, J.J. Abrams will return to the Star Wars franchise next year when Star Wars: Episode IX debuts in theaters on December 20, 2019.