'Star Wars' actor criticises 'The Last Jedi', says Rian Johnson didn't 'do his homework'

Tom BeasleyContributor
Yahoo Movies UK
Rian Johnson attends the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' press conference on December 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney)
Rian Johnson attends the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' press conference on December 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney)

Darth Maul voice actor Sam Witwer has criticised Star Wars: The Last Jedi as “a movie made by a guy who hadn’t quite done his homework”.

During a live stream on gaming platform Twitch, Witwer said there were “compelling” ideas in the controversial 2017 movie, but that those ideas “just didn’t fit into Star Wars”.

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Witwer has voiced Maul for many years in animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, reprising the role for Maul’s brief live-action cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Read more: Johnson wanted to screen-test The Last Jedi

Last Jedi, to me, felt like a movie made by a guy who hadn’t quite done his homework,” he said.

He added: “You can’t reinvent Star Wars without knowing Star Wars first and he didn’t, for me, make a compelling argument for why Luke wouldn’t go and help his sister.”

Sam Witwer attends a 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' screening event on February 27, 2014. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
Sam Witwer attends a 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' screening event on February 27, 2014. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

Witwer also questioned why Luke was happy to trash talk Kylo Ren during their final confrontation, when he was in hiding due to his guilt over the fact he almost killed Ren years earlier.

Read more: Explaining the Star Wars timeline

He added: “I don’t think he did his Star Wars homework. I’m talking like the themes, what it’s about, what the characters are about.

“But as a standalone film, if I don’t know what the Jedi are or who Luke is or what he represents, I think there’s some compelling things in there.

“If that’s meaningful to you, that’s awesome.”

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'. (Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'. (Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Last Jedi was immediately divisive when it debuted in 2017, opening with Luke Skywalker tossing away the lightsaber he was handed by Rey at the climax of 2015’s The Force Awakens.

There was a clear divide between the opinions of film critics and a vocal portion of the audience, with the 91% Rotten Tomatoes critical rating massively different to the 43% audience score.

Read more: Johnson says Star Wars fans should be challenged

Johnson said that he didn’t take the backlash personally, even when a petition was launched to scrub the movie from the Star Wars canon.

He said: “There’s been a lot of joy and love from fans.

“When I talk about the negative stuff, that’s not the full picture of the fans at all.”

'Star Wars: The last Jedi'. (Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
'Star Wars: The last Jedi'. (Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

But Witwer is far from the first actor from the roster of the Star Wars universe to express doubts about The Last Jedi.

Mark Hamill has been vocal about his initial disagreements with Johnson and John Boyega said last year that he felt “iffy” about the approach.

Read more: J.J. Abrams is grateful for The Last Jedi

Johnson, meanwhile, is still at work on a new trilogy of films set within the Star Wars world.

It seems this debate isn’t going anywhere any time soon and, with the whole Skywalker Saga now available on Disney+, there’s plenty of fuel in the fire yet.

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