Film festivals are big these days. They are everywhere. From the big ones like Cannes and Sundance and Toronto to smaller, niche-demographic festivals. This year, Entertainment Weekly decided to get in on the action with its first ever CapeTown Film Fest. No, not the capital of South Africa, but EW's CapeTown branch of its online publication which focuses on superheroes and comic books (hence the "cape" part), sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. You know, all the cool stuff.
It had a few special events, including a Luke Skywalker look-alike contest, which had a special guest star: None other than himself appeared on the stage. We can only assume he won the contest.
While he was there, Hamill sat down with host Anthony Breznican for an interview and Q&A session, and he offered some interesting insights into how the films were made, and what he thinks of fans complaining about the films, and what we might expect from Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.
First, he talked about how the story did not go at all where he expected it to go in first three films:
[I thought] I know where this thing’s going. I’ve got one mechanical hand now. I’m all in black. I’m well on my way to the dark side.
And he joked about that whole sister/brother relationship thing:
Why not have Boba Fett remove his helmet, shake out some beautiful hair, and...Oh my god, it’s mom! She’s been a double agent all these years!
Speaking of stories, why did decide to start in the middle at all? In a word, money:
He was talking about how, originally, it was four trilogies of twelve [movies],” said Hamill. “But he cobbled it down to three trilogies of nine. I said, ‘Why are we starting in the middle?’ He said, ‘Well, um, this trilogy is the most commercial.
What about fans that rage about the special editions or the prequel trilogy? His son keeps him up to date on the latest Star Wars developments, and he thinks fans need to settle down:
He’ll say, ‘Oh my god, Dad, Greedo shoots first now!’ I’ll say, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Let’s put this in perspective: Who cares?’...
[And] Jar Jar was supposed to be irritating! He’s irritating to the other characters in the movie!...Those aren’t sorta the movies he wanted them to be, they’re exactly the movies they wanted to make. And I’m not gonna criticize them at all.
And he is excited as can be for the upcoming trilogy, starting with Episode VII:
I’ve only had one creative meeting about the new films, but I do remember saying: ‘We’ve got to find a proper balance between CGI and old-school models.’ I want to have a more organic look so that we don’t get into Roger Rabbit territory...That’s just me! Don’t get too excited! I don’t imagine their top priority is what I want.
But you know what? No matter what, Hamill knew from the start the Star Wars films would be an incredible success, thinking back then:
Even if this doesn’t do well at the box office, this has cult hit written all over it. I see endless midnight screenings. I predicted: This thing is gonna be bigger than Planet of the Apes. This thing will make at least $25 million.