At Tribeca Film Festival, director J.J. Abrams recalled how Mark Hamill felt skeptical about only appearing in the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s pretty understandable: you get back into a Star Wars movie after twenty-odd years, and then discover your only scenes are a blip in a vision and about twenty or thirty seconds at the very end of the film. Not only is your screentime miniscule, but you have zero lines of dialogue to boot (unless you count the heartbreaking “Noooo!” from the Rey’s vision). Mark Hamill was skeptical; he didn’t want the result to be silly. But J.J. Abrams insisted it would work out (via /Film).
"He was so kind to do it, and at first he was like, ‘Will it seem silly, will it be a joke that he is standing there?’ I said to him, ‘I don’t think it will.’ I said because the whole movie is about that, it could be a great fun drum roll, up to seeing this guy.”"
It wasn’t silly at all, at least not for most viewers. For most, it was an epic introduction of Luke Skywalker that didn’t distract from the new cast. That not distracting was an important thin, and something Lawrence Kasdan struggled with in early script drafts.
"“Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012. It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.’”"
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He’s right. Who am I most excited to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII? Luke Skywalker. I want to see him kick butt and use the Force and take down enemies with his superior lightsaber wielding skills. I want to see him train Rey to become a Jedi, and deliver words of wisdom about the light and dark side of the Force, the story of how he redeemed his father and how there’s always hope.
But Luke may not be a kind and wise sage, at least not at first. He’s clearly broken after what happened to the Jedi Order he was attempting to form. He may be insecure about his own abilities as a teacher, or perhaps he’s lost faith in the redemptive powers of the Force. It may be up to Rey to remind him of his self-respect and goodness, just like she reminded him he was a Jedi with responsibilities when she held his old lightsaber out to him at the end of The Force Awakens.
Are you excited to see Luke again in Episode VIII? Do you think his presence in The Force Awakens was too small or unimpressive? Talk to us in the comments.