Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice actor Sam Witwer, who plays Maul, recently dunked on Rian Johnson and his The Last Jedi film.
During a recent Twitch stream where he was playing Battlefront II, Witwer opened up about his opinions regarding the film and Rian Johnson.
He stated, “Last Jedi, to me felt like a movie made by a guy who hadn’t quite done his homework. I think Rian Johnson is a talented guy, but Bruce Lee didn’t develop Jeet Kune Do without learning Kung Fu first.”
He then stated, “You can’t reinvent Star Wars without knowing Star Wars first is my thing”
HE’S PLAYING BATTLEFRONT ll… AS MAUL! pic.twitter.com/Fxdu7bo4GX
— TweeterTrash #ResistanceIsFutile (@TweeterTrash) May 5, 2020
Witwer continued, “For me, didn’t make a compelling argument why Luke wouldn’t go and help his sister. Or if indeed Luke is hiding out on that island because he feels so badly for how he handled Kylo Ren then why is Luke trash talking Kylo Ren at the end of the movie. It just seems…well which is it? Do you feel bad that you hurt this boy? Or are you going to trash talk him?”
He continued, “You would imagine he would arrive at that fight and go, ‘God, Ben I’m so sorry. Ben I’m so sorry’ The whole time, ‘I’m so sorry.’ Not, ‘Yeah whatever see you around kid.’ Why is he trash…What?”
Witwer then stated, “This is just my opinion, guys. My thing is if you find…There was a lot of things in The Last Jedi that I think were compelling from a Rian Johnson filmmaker point of view, they just didn’t quite fit into Star Wars. I don’t think he did his Star Wars homework. In terms of not the details or the spaceships, I’m talking about the themes, what it’s about, what the characters are about.”
He then discussed the film as a standalone outside of Star Wars canon, “As a standalone film, if I don’t know who Luke is, or what Luke represents, or what the Jedi are, or any of those things, I think there are some really compelling things in there. And if that’s meaningful to you, that’s awesome.”
He concluded, “The thing that you have to do these days if you want Star Wars to continue is you have to accept that other people are going to have their own thesis about Star Wars and you may not agree with it. But Star Wars does not continue if these people have their shot.”
Witwer would appear to attempt to retract his comments after Disney Star Wars Is Dumb published an article titled “Sam Witwer Says Rian Johnson Didn’t Do His Homework.”
He responded to the article’s headline writing, “Oh dude, this wasn’t what was said. I went on to express that whether something my my cup of tea or not, the contributions of Rian Johnson helped Star Wars continue. Please don’t clickbait.”
Oh dude, this wasn’t what was said. I went on to express that whether something my my cup of tea or not, the contributions of Rian Johnson helped Star Wars continue.
Please don’t Clickbait.
— Sam Witwer (@SamWitwer) May 4, 2020
When confronted with a paraphrase of his own comments, Witwer would double down and claim the headline was clickbait.
Clickbait is when someone takes a soundbyte or a piece of a quote that doesn’t reflect the overall sentiment to inspire outrage that leads to greater web traffic.
So yeah, man. If there was more to what I said, it’s clickbait.
— Sam Witwer (@SamWitwer) May 4, 2020
Except the headline is completely accurate. Witwer in fact stated that Johnson didn’t know his Star Wars history multiple times in just over two minutes. He even implied that Johnson didn’t really know Star Wars at all with his comparison to Bruce Lee.
However, one thing that Witwer does argue is that he believes that in order for good Star Wars content to continue to be made you have to accept there is going to be bad content along the way as well.
He expressed a similar sentiment in an interview back in 2018 on the Electric Playground Network YouTube channel where he notes that Star Trek: The Next Generation’s first season was really bad, but without the first season you don’t get the later and better seasons of The Next Generation as well as Deep Space Nine.
However, he also expressed his own personal problems with The Last Jedi’s portrayal of Luke Skywalker.
He explained, “If you fundamentally change that character of screen then at that point you invite people to disagree with you. You have brought that into your house at that point if you are the filmmaker.”
He added, “I always felt that Luke Skywalker [was the epitome of not giving up]. Yea. So I did not necessarily agree with that version of the character.”
He continued, “The last thing we saw was a guy who had the level of compassion that it would take to throw down his weapon in front of his mortal enemy and declare, ‘I’m not going to fight anyone. I’m not going to hurt anyone. And I’m certainly not going hurt this man, my father. You failed because this is what a Jedi is. I am a man of peace.’ That guy doesn’t think for a moment of murdering his best friend’s and his sister’s kid. He doesn’t think that for a moment.”
Witwer then states, “And furthermore if he did mess up, he’s probably going to Force Skype that guy until he answers the phone and say, ‘Hey, let’s talk about this.'”
You can check out the full interview below.
What do you make of Witwer’s comments?