While George Lucas reportedly 'liked' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he hasn't ever really said that in person. LucasFilm boss Kathleen Kennedy insists the creator of this universe enjoyed himself during his initial first viewing, but the director of the original 1977 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope has only ever publicly stated that the 'fans will love it'. He later criticized the sequel for being a 'retro movie' that relied too heavily on the nostalgia factor. Reading between the lines, it appears as though he's only ever been diplomatic. The same can now be said about prequel trilogy star Samuel L. Jackson, who starred as Master Jedi Mace Windu in three live-action movies. When asked what he thinks of the latest chapter in this saga, his face seems to say, 'Not very much.'
Appearing on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Samuel L. Jackson seems to squirm in his seat when discussing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Is he siding with his old pal George Lucas? The actor doesn't come right out and say he likes the movie. He remains as diplomatic as the original creator of this sprawling universe, but it's not clear that he thinks it's a good movie. But he definitely has one problem that he's decided to be very vocal about. He doesn't think the young cast is very good at lightsaber duels. Here's what he had to say about watching the movie for the first time.
"It's done in the spirit of the Star Wars films. Its got the same spirit. Its adventuresome, and it's exciting in a way. I think the kids need to go to lightsaber fight school. That's just me thinking. They've got time to get better."
That is not a ringing endorsement by any means. Perhaps he's decided to stay loyal to the prequels. Maybe he's upset that director J.J. Abrams didn't resurrect Mace Windu and bring him back. At least as a Force Ghost. Samuel L. Jackson is one of the few who hasn't showered the movie with love. But as with everything that is a massive hit, the goodwill train has started to change direction in terms of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Its detractors are growing louder. And some fans have a problem with the sequel's many plot holes and unanswered questions, which some believe will be directly addressed in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Is it possible that we'll see Samuel L. Jackson return as Mace Windu? If not as a Force Ghost in one of the upcoming new sequels, perhaps in a spinoff Anthology movie? Way back in 2012, just as Star Wars: The Force Awakens was beginning to come together, the actor expressed his interest in returning to this galaxy far, far away. He had this to say at the time.
"Hell yeah! I'm not surprised but totally geeked by the idea of there being more Star Wars. It's like, okay, Obi-Wan was dead when Episode IV started, so maybe everyone thinks I'm dead and we'll find out what happened to Mace Windu. I can come back as one-armed or a one-handed Jedi that's still around that didn't actually die. I could do that or be a ghost hologram. I don't care. I just want to stay associated with the franchise. Not that I won't because I've been in three of them."
Perhaps he's changed his tune since seeing The Force Awakens. In defense of Daisy Ridley's Rey and John Boyega's Finn, they've never picked up a lightsaber in their lives until their climatic duel against Adam Driver's Kylo Ren (well, Finn did use the saber against that TR-8R Stormtrooper at Maz Kanata's Castle, but that hardly makes him an expert). And Kylo Ren is suffering from a Bowcaster blast courtesy of Chewbacca when we finally see him go against another lightsaber-weilding opponent. These kids aren't supposed to be good with their Lightsabers yet. They aren't master Jedi like Mace Windu. What do you think? Do you agree with his statements? You can check him out live and in person on Popcorn with Peter Travers. He also talks more about Star Wars in his recent interview with Seth Meyers.