Mark Hamill gladly takes up a lightsaber in a send-up of his Star Wars past in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (opening Friday). To the actor's mind, his self-referential yuks were all in keeping with the goofy comedy's irreverent spirit. "There's something very appealing about a movie that's relentlessly stupid," he says. "You see a movie like this, and you can't believe your IQ is actually being lowered in the process."
Even so, he's quick to add: "What surprised me was, I'm reading the script, and it's such an original voice. [Writer/director] Kevin Smith has the infectious enthusiasm of a first timer."
In his cameo, Hamill plays a thespian who's enraged when Jay and Silent Bob the titular idiots played by Jason Mewes and Smith stumble onto his film set and wreak havoc. "I was picking scenery out of my teeth," he chuckles. "It was fun to play. You need somebody to get really uptight and upset at their moronic behavior. I thought, 'The only way this will work is if I'm playing this really pompous actor who feels as though he's slumming in some way, like he should be doing Shakespeare.' And these two guys come in and rock his world."
Speaking of setside buttinskys, Hamill admits he would have liked to offer director George Lucas
a few notes on the making of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
. Says the erstwhile Luke Skywalker: "The biggest piece of constructive criticism I would've given George is, 'There's no skepticism.' There was no cynic, so everyone was so serious in the picture. In Star Wars
, we had Han Solo (Harrison Ford
) to say, 'Pfft. Yeah, the Force. I'm in it for the money, pal' which is a great release for people who have this thing about the innate corniness of [the genre], because it's so old-fashioned."