It takes a great deal of acting talent to bring a complex and compelling Star Wars character to life. It takes even more talent to do so when that character is animated. That’s exactly what actor Sam Witwer did, however. He elevated the character of Maul from a seeming throw-away in The Phantom Menace to one of the most popular, fan-favorite characters of the franchise. So… he knows a thing or two about Star Wars. As a result, people listen when he speaks. And he had some interesting things to say about The Last Jedi.
Witwer took to Twitch recently during a live-stream of Star Wars: Battlefront II to talk to fans about the franchise. As CBR tells us, he seems to share the same opinion of many Star Wars fans. There was just something… off about Rian Johnson’s entry into the lore of Star Wars.
Sam Witwer: Rian Johnson didn’t do his homework
Last Jedi, to me, felt like a movie made by a guy who hadn’t quite done his homework…. I think Rian Johnson’s a talented guy, but Bruce Lee didn’t develop Jeet Kune Do without learning Kung Fu first. You can’t reinvent Star Wars without knowing Star Wars first, and he didn’t – for me – make a compelling argument for why Luke didn’t go and help his sister.”
Johnson didn’t for arguably a majority of Star Wars fans. Witwer was still gracious, however, in noting that the controversial film was still compelling in many aspects. Had The Last Jedi been a stand-alone film without the pressure of four decades of backstory weighing upon it, chances are it would have been more well-received. But… it wasn’t. For the Maul actor, Johnson’s vision “just didn’t fit into Star Wars.”
I don’t think he did his Star Wars homework. 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.”
Regardless of what fans think of The Last Jedi, most can agree with Witwer on another point. The four-part series finale of The Clone Wars was indeed the best ever for the series. Witwer’s Maul, together with Ray Park’s motion capture, was a huge part of that.
All seasons of The Clone Wars are now streaming on Disney+.