Domhnall Gleeson on Star Wars’ General Hux Rage Against the Machine

“I won’t have you question my methods!” General Hux barks at Kylo Ren.  Domhnall Gleeson described his STAR WARS character General Hux as a man who wants the throne, needs to be the center of attention, and wants everyone to know he’s important.  Sound familiar?  If it reminds you of current politics, Domhnall Gleeson wouldn’t necessarily disagree.  We chatted with Domhnall Gleeson at THE LAST JEDI press junket, and he shared his thoughts on General Hux, the drama, and all the “bitchy in-fighting” over on the Dark Side.

General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) in <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi </em>
General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

When Domhnall Gleeson assessed General Hux in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, he says Hux is in a much worse place at the end of THE FORCE AWAKENS than when he started.  Hux wants to be leader, he wants to be in charge of Kylo Ren, and that motivates Hux at the beginning of the story.

Domhnall Gleeson meets with writers at the <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em> press junket
Domhnall Gleeson meets with writers at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi press junket

Gleeson added, “it’s more than rage; there’s a desperation in Hux that is very unbecoming.”  General Hux wants to be Kylo Ren’s superior, but Hux also knows Kylo is much more powerful.  Kylo Ren would easily defeat General Hux in a face-to-face fight, and thus the source of Hux’s turmoil and conflict.  Domhnall comments, “the most interesting version of Hux is battling with Kylo and struggling with power.”

Actors Domhnall Gleeson (L) and Adam Driver at <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em> Premiere
Actors Domhnall Gleeson (L) and Adam Driver at Star Wars: The Last Jedi Premiere

One can’t help notice similarities to political leaders today, and Gleeson was asked if Hux was a metaphor for today’s leaders.  “Most pieces of great art reflect the times that we’re in no matter when we’re living,” Gleeson replied, “there’s never a lack of evil in the world, and there are always people that want to do more for themselves than others.”

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em>
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Gleeson’s inspiration for General Hux goes back to the original Star Wars trilogy and Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin.  However, Domhnall Gleeson is careful to note Hux is not a copy of Cushing’s character.  “You can’t steal it, and take your character notes from elsewhere,” referring to Cushing’s villain.

Domhnall Gleeson never saw the original Star Wars trilogy in the theaters as he was born the same month Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi opened in 1983.  However, he appreciates the history of the Star Wars films, and compared it to another pop-culture franchise he was in – Harry Potter.  “It’s a position of privilege to do Star Wars because of how much it means to people,” Domhnall Gleeson said. “Harry Potter was a huge film, but it was only going on for 10-12 years,” Gleeson noted, “Star Wars has been going on for 40 years.”

40 Years of <em>Star Wars</em> panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando
40 Years of Star Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando

It’s impossible to escape Star Wars in part due to its longevity, and it leads to many geek out moments on the set.  “When Mark Hamill walks up in his Jedi outfit, you can’t help but having the ‘oh my gosh’ moment,” Gleeson explained.  Speaking of Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker, and General Hux, Domhnall Gleeson was asked if he personally had more of the light or dark side in him?  Gleeson answered, “We all have our dark moments. Hopefully I’m not that bad that the good of the people don’t shine through.”

Domhnall Gleeson and Kelly Marie Tran pose with Praetorian guards at the after party for the world premiere of <em>Star Wars:
Domhnall Gleeson and Kelly Marie Tran pose with Praetorian guards at the after party for the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Gleeson identifies with his Irish home, and loves that so much of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI was filmed in Ireland.  Gleeson noted, “I was pretty proud that they had a good time in Ireland.”  And where can you find him next?  “I’m looking forward to going back to Dublin and spending Christmas with the family,” Domhnall replied.  Sounds like his light side is definitely shining through.

You can see how Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux fares in his latest encounter with Kylo Ren when STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens on December 15.

A version of this story previously appeared on AdventuresbyDaddy.com.

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