Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, who has played Luke Skywalker in 5 of the 11 Star Wars films provided a grim outlook for the franchise.
Hamill was asked about the idea of Star Wars fatigue on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast. He was specifically asked if Star Wars fatigue exists. Hamill simply replied, “Yes.”
When pressed on the question he would elaborate, “I’m not gonna tell them how to run their business, but is there a possibility of ‘Star Wars fatigue’? Yeah, I think there is. I’ve experienced it, to a certain degree. But they never listen to my ideas anyway, so who needs ’em?”
However, before discussing Star Wars fatigue, Hamill noted the last time he had actually seen the Star Wars films was 21 years ago.
“The last time I saw them was 21 years ago when they were rereleased as special editions…We saw each one once in 1998.”
As for the possibility of doing more work with Star Wars, Hamill was open to the idea saying, “Well, again, make me an offer.”
While Hamill indicates that executives don’t listen to his advice, Disney CEO Bob Iger also alluded to the idea of Star Wars fatigue following the failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Last September Iger admitted he made a mistake with the Star Wars franchise pointing out the closeness of the films was too much.
“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”
As I argued last year when Iger made these comments, there shouldn’t be Star Wars fatigue if you are making quality content. In fact, Disney’s own companies including Marvel Studios and Pixar were putting out more movies than Star Wars and were still seeing wild success at the box office.
The issue isn’t about Star Wars fatigue due to volume. People won’t get worn out by too much Star Wars content. I mean there’s been plenty of Star Wars content created across multiple mediums and people are still eating it up.
The issue with Star Wars fatigue at the box office is an issue with respecting the source material and creating good, entertaining Star Wars content. Star Wars failed at that with Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, and it shattered a lot of the trust the Star Wars brand had with consumers in Disney.
In the podcast, Hamill would also choose his favorite Star Wars film. Here’s a hint, it’s not The Last Jedi.
“I guess I’d probably have to go with Empire, only because it was so unexpected to have the protagonist be so soundly defeated, losing the hand and the dad Vader, all of it was pretty unexpected. And it was so cerebral: Yoda is such an important addition to the mythology and I thought it was so clever of George, the concept of the Force, so that you could talk about religion and spirituality without making people uncomfortable. So for that alone.”
What do you make of Hamill’s comments? Do you think there is Star Wars fatigue?