Star Wars came roaring back to the forefront of popular culture following the release of The Force Awakens in 2015, with J.J. Abrams’ latest installment in the evergreen franchise becoming one of the biggest movies of all time in the wake of largely positive reviews, although Episode VII was criticized in some quarters for being a little too reverential and nostalgic towards the Original Trilogy.
However, since then there’ve been constant rumors of discontent surrounding Star Wars. Rogue One was another hit, but came burdened with reports that director Gareth Edwards had been replaced for both the extensive reshoots and entire post-production process. Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, meanwhile, became the most controversial Star Wars movie yet that divided the fans like never before, Solo was the lowest-grossing live-action entry in the franchise following some well-publicized behind-the-scenes troubles and most recently, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss became the latest in a long line of filmmakers to walk away from a galaxy far, far away.
While Star Wars seems in good health on television, with folks seemingly on board with The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi, things aren’t quite so rosy on the big screen. Kathleen Kennedy claims that she loves hearing criticism from the fans on the current state of the series, but in a recent interview, C-3PO star Anthony Daniels admitted that he understands their frustration with the current creative direction of the franchise.
“I do understand why the fans are unhappy. It speaks to a devotion that they care so much that they mind if someone messes with it. I understand people being critical of the films. I know it has been particularly for Mark Hamill lately because the new movies haven’t given him much to do. I certainly recognize that, and can relate to it.”
You can understand Mark Hamill being unhappy at how Luke Skywalker was treated in The Last Jedi, mostly because most people were in agreement that some of the decisions made regarding the character didn’t fit his story, not to mention the fact the actor himself had been publicly critical about it.
Anthony Daniels can’t really put himself in the same boat, though. Luke Skywalker was the through-line on which the entire Star Wars narrative was based, while C-3PO was a supporting character at best and an irritating comedic relief at worst. Regardless, the franchise is coming in for more criticism now than ever before, so hopefully the key creatives at Disney and Lucasfilm are listening in an effort to improve their fortunes in the future.