Industry NewsOpinion

Does ‘Last Jedi’ Have a Mark Hamill Problem?

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” got so much right it’s hard to nitpick its biggest flaw -- relegating Luke Skywalker to the film’s final seconds.

Literally.last jedi poster

This time should be different. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” promises more screen time for the older, wiser Skywalker. The film’s teaser poster is your first clue.

Mark Hamill’s iconic character is front and center. Again.

And, with Han Solo officially out of the picture, longtime fans will be clamoring to see Luke in action.

Or will they?

Darth Trump?

Hamill has spent the last few months on a personal vendetta against President Donald Trump. In that way he’s similar to many of his celebrity peers. Tweet after tweet after tweet, Hamill hammers the new president and his team.

The actor also uses his unique vocal gifts to taunt the President. He routinely reads Trump Tweets in the voice of the Joker, a gig he’s maintained over multiple platforms.

Could all of the above impact a franchise that appears as bullet proof as any modern movie series? The answer isn’t automatically “no.” Sure, any “Star Wars” movie at this point in pop culture will make serious coin. That’s beyond debate. But could enough potential movie goers peel off, angered at yet another celebrity assault on a duly elected GOP leader?

In case you didn’t notice, Trump fans can have fairly thin skins. Other Red State types are simply exhausted by the drum beat out of Hollywood against their candidate.

Consider these Tweets in response to Hamill’s political statements:

We still have several months before “The Last Jedi’s” Dec. 15 release date. Between now and then Hamill may soften his social media activism. Disgruntled fans could forgive, if not forget, the star’s Twitter rants. Passions for the space saga remain strong 40 years later.

Something else could happen between now and then.

Team Disney may suggest Hamill take a knee from the non-stop Trump trashing. In fact, that could have precedent.

Shortly after Trump’s shocking Election Day victory two writers behind “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” embraced the emerging “safety pin” meme. The social media cause celebre attacked the President-Elect in a fashion similar to those outraged over the recent Brexit vote.

Hamill retweeted the writers’ meme. Only those tweets didn’t stick around for long. The messages were quickly memory holed.

Why?

Did the writers realize politicizing the new film could be bad for business? Did someone from Disney suggest something similar? If they didn’t they should have, given the enormous fiscal stakes in play. The company expects a massive return on investment from ponying up $4 billion to George Lucas for the rights to the franchise.

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Back in 1977 actors focused more on their performances than any political resistance. They also didn’t have social media to spread their personal political views.

That was then.

Now, actors can indulge their political fever with a single click. And those clicks can have consequences.

A “Star Wars” movie exists to rake in profits, from the box office to the merchandise tie-ins. Anything that impacts that sales flow is problematic – even on a modest scale. It’s why Disney film product is loathe to embrace politically divisive themes.

Consider the apolitical tone of both the recent “Star Wars” films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both Disney brands. Murmurs that “Rogue One” contained anti-Trump themes were quickly squashed by Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The “Star Wars” franchise offers an escape from the current political climate. It brings liberals and conservatives together in the fight against the Dark Side.

That’s getting more rare by the moment. Let’s hope it lasts a little while longer.

Show More

7 Comments

  1. I have to disagree with the remark about Trump supporters being thinned skinned. His supporters are just sick of being called names, lied about and ridiculed. Conservatives and Republicans have been getting this by celebs, the media and in movies and television for decades and people are just not willing to take it lying down anymore.

    1. I’d argue that most conservatives have to be incredibly thick-skinned to tolerate the endless litany of abuse they receive from Hollyweird and the Lame Stream Media.

    2. Exactly. Shrugging off the jabs and insults hasn’t worked,so now conservatives/Trump supporters are playing by the new rules, Alinsky’s rules, and Obama’s rules pf punching back twice as hard, etc.

  2. well, I wasn’t planning on watching this movie anyways. I gave up after the “prequel” trilogy. The writing just seemed to have lost any spark.
    And nothing I’ve heard makes me think I was wrong to skip The Force Awakens or Rogue One.

    1. I thought Rogue One was actually pretty decent. The Force Awakens absolutely drives me up a wall. Forgot the political crap, the character development it terrible and the villain is frankly everything you might hate about prequel Anakin Skywalker with absolutely no redeeming qualities. With the prequels I felt like it could have been truly great with a few fixes (the Episode III novelization is actually excellent, much better than the movie) while still remaining recognizable compared to what we actually got. With The Force Awakens, it would be better just to burn the script and replace it with some of the old EU novels, such as the Thrawn Trilogy.

  3. You think the new Star Wars movies are apolitical?

    I’ll have to go with a “I can’t even”, and a “Wow, just wow” on that one

  4. I don’t think celebrities have realized yet just how tired the public is of their political activism and over the top hatred for Trump in particular. After I see some of these insulting comments directed at half of America in an interview, or read a nasty tweet, I lose all interest in seeing them on screen, on stage. I would not want to be around this toxicity in real life, so why would I pay to do so when looking to relax and escape?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
Close