Is it bad when one of your former leading actors in your new franchise of movies call them "silly"?
LONDON, England -- The Star Wars franchise can no longer be taken seriously, according to one former Jedi master.
"Ummm, well, they've kind of got silly now, haven't they?" actor Liam Neeson told The Toronto Sun yesterday while doing interviews for his latest film, the forthcoming ensemble romantic comedy Love Actually.
"That last (Star Wars movie) was just pyrotechnics, you know," Neeson said of Episode II -- Attack of The Clones, lamenting that the "computerized stuff" fails to connect with either the actors or audiences.
Neeson said he expects nothing different when Episode III, in which he is not involved, is released in 2005 to complete the prequel trilogy.
Yet Neeson has no regrets about his own participation in Star Wars lore, despite feeling that he did less than stellar work in 1999 in Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace.
"The one I did, I loved working on it," he said, "and I loved working with George Lucas."
Neeson played Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi master knight who counsels Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker.
"Admittedly," Neeson said with a wane smile, "we all come across as pretty wooden. But a lot of that was interacting with blue screen, which was difficult and was also a great challenge, you know, to try to make it seem as an everyday thing that (you're with) a winged beast that talks."
Blue screen is an in-studio process in which actors literally perform in front of a giant blue screen, replaced later with computerized special effects. "But listen," Neeson said, "I'm glad I did it."