"I have to be careful these days. It's better to just keep your big mouth shut."
Mark Hamill was telling Moviefone about a news headline that ran a couple years ago over comments he had made on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
"I said, I just wanna warn the fans that, remember, it's impossible to please everyone. You know how they wrote the headline?" he laughed. "'Force Awakens' Bound to Disappoint, Says Mark Hamill."
It's a lesson he's learning, again, with "The Last Jedi." Hamill made comments about how his vision for Luke Skywalker didn't line up with that of director Rian Johnson. "He's not my Luke Skywalker," the actor said during an interview for the latest film, prompting further criticism from fans.
Now, after multiple attempts to re-contextualized those remarks, Hamill told Moviefone -- while on location in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day weekend: "I think that Rian's film is just much more complex than I expected. It's unconventional. It upends expectations, and you're gonna ruffle a lot of feathers if you take big chances like that. But I love it, I love the unexpected and it's harder and harder to surprise the audience when they know so much."
Hamill had already addressed the controversy multiple times, more recently during a radio interview at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Dublin on March 16.
"J.J. said to me between takes, 'And by the way, just to show how powerful Luke is with the Force emanating from him, we'll probably put in a couple of floating boulders around you,'" he recalled. So when he read the script for "The Last Jedi" before "The Force Awakens," he called up Johnson. "I said, 'Hey, Rian! Have you seen 'VII' at the end with the boulders?'"
That scene, obviously, didn't make it into the movie. "What I had a hard time with, I said even though I picked Kylo Ren wrongly as the next hope and that's on my conscience, I still said to Rian, a Jedi would never give up, a Jedi wouldn't cut off his telepathic connection with his sister. It's just too radical," Hamill said. But Johnson "pushed me out of my comfort zone," the actor added. "He thought it would be more interesting, since Luke was so triumphant in the original trilogy, to go in the opposite direction."
Elsewhere, Hamill the experience of shooting in Ireland and the "brutal" trek to the top of Skellig-Michael Island, which served as the filming site for the scenes on Ahch-To. He also spoke about whether he would take a different, more behind-the-scenes role with "Star Wars" now that Luke's journey is (seemingly) at an end.
When he initially got the call to discuss a return appearance for a new "Star Wars" trilogy, he speculated Lucasfilm might be working on an anthology TV series.
"I was trying to get [the adaptation of the comic] 'Black Pearl' going, I wanted to direct that," he said. "And I thought that would be a great way, if I could get one episode [of a 'Star Wars' anthology series] under my belt, because I'm only a second-time director, maybe it would give momentum to the 'Black Pearl.'"
As it turned out, it was in fact for a new trilogy -- and the rest is history.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tues., March 27.