'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Named Best Movie for Grownups at AARP Gala

1:35 PM 2/6/2018

by Marc Malkin

Gary Oldman, Annette Bening and Richard Jenkins also among the winners Monday night in Beverly Hills.

Rian Johnson (left) and Mark Hamill
Rian Johnson (left) and Mark Hamill
Rich Fury/Getty Images

The force continues to be with Star Wars.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi took home the big prize for best movie at the AARP’s annual Movies For Grownups Awards gala last night in Beverly Hills.

“One of the things I like about the films is the intergenerational aspect,” said Mark Hamill while presenting the award with Star Wars newcomer Kelly Marie Tran to their director Rain Johnson. “Children that were fans of the original films are grown now and sharing them with their children and even their grandchildren. It’s amazing to me. I never get tired of people who come up to me and relate stories. It’s become such a fabric of pop culture and they say, ‘You helped me get through my mother’s illness’ or ‘I met my wife through the original and by the third sequel we had children named Luke and Leia.’ You visit hospitals and it’s so moving. A child told me. ‘I’m not afraid they’re going to amputate my arm because Luke lost his hand and Luke’s a hero.’”

The Last Jedi marked Tran’s movie debut. "During production I had the privilege of having to explore and walk around sets and different departments and what surprised me the most was probably the fact that everybody was just as in awe as I was,” Tran said, adding, "It’s incredible to be how much these characters mean so much to people across different backgrounds and cultures and ages.”

Earlier in the evening, Tran told The Hollywood Reporter that she spent four months filming The Last Jedi in London before being allowed to tell anyone—including her parents—what she was working on. “I told them I was in Canada working on an indie with a really low budget,” she said.

It was announced in November that Johnson is set to create a new Star Wars trilogy. He’s slated to write and direct the first of those three new films.

“I have little clouds of ideas that I just file away up in my head,” he told THR. “I’m sure if I’d write them down I’d leave them in a coffee shop somewhere.”

Johnson also said he is excited for people to see Solo: A Star Wars story, director Ron Howard’s upcoming origin movie about Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). “It’s so fun. It’s so funny and it’s so wonderful,” Johnson said.

Richard Jenkins received one of the night’s longest standing ovations when he was presented with the best supporting actor award from Blythe Danner for his work in The Shape of Water. “My whole life I wanted to be an actor in the movies,” Jenkins said. “When I was kid in DeKalb, Illinois, I’d go to the movies and I’d say, ‘How do you do that?’ Now, not only do they let me do it but they give me one of these [awards] and put me in room with this incredible talent. I’m a lucky man!”

Arron Sorkin, who was named best screenwriter for Molly’s Game, recalled his father coming to his apartment in New York City earlier in his career to watch the Oscar nominations being announced.

“There was some hope that a film I had written that year would be nominated and when it wasn’t, my father turned to me and said, ‘Aaron, how many people in the world do you think woke up this morning with even a reasonable expectation that they might get an Oscar nomination?’” Sorkin said. “And that’s when I discovered that for most people it’s an honor just to be nominated but in my family, it’s honor just to be overlooked.”

Hosted by Alan Cumming and held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Movies for Grownups Awards will air on television for the first time on Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS.

The complete list of this year's award winners follows.