In an interview with ABC News about the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, Mark Hamill admitted “it is possible” his character, Luke Skywalker turns to the dark side.
There is a lot of ominous imagery and dialogue in the first The Last Jedi teaser. Most of it revolves around Mark Hamill’s character, Luke Skywalker, whom we heard speak for the first time in a movie since Return of the Jedi. The darkness surrounding Luke is certainly not accidental, and it may be hinting at a catastrophic change in our beloved hero.
In an interview with ABC News’s Paula Faris with Hamill and his The Last Jedi costar, Daisy Ridley (Rey), Hamill said that when he read what director Rian Johnson wrote for his character, he was shocked:
“It was as shocking to me to read what Rian had written as I’m sure it will be for the audience.”
At first, it seems, the surprise was not a good one for Hamill:
“I told Rian, I fundamentally disagree with virtually everything you decided about my character… But [it] might be a good sign, because I was really wrong about 7… I didn’t foresee John Williams’s incredible music and the shots of Daisy, the buildup to it all. So I was never happier to be wrong.”
Whatever Johnson wrote, we can assume Luke is much changed in Episode VIII since we last saw him (or rather heard him) in Return of the Jedi. Moreover, that change is probably not for the better.
So naturally, Faris asked Hamill if his character turns to the dark side in The Last Jedi:
Faris: “Do you make a turn to the dark side?”
Hamill: “It is possible. Anything’s possible.”
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Luke turning to the dark side is not a new idea. It was explored several times in Legends and even once for Return of the Jedi. During the making of the latter, Hamill himself thought Luke should follow his father’s dark path. Instead, for nearly forty years Luke has been the paragon of the light side of the Force and all the good qualities it encompasses. Even Hamill has probably accepted the innate goodness of his character by now. So Rian Johnson writing a script in which Luke turns to the dark side would plausibly present a real shock to Hamill. As a fan, I would be shocked, too. I can’t think of anything more flabbergasting than old, mature Luke Skywalker turning to the dark side after everything he’s been through: saving his father from the dark side, establishing a new Jedi Order, and probably countless other adventures.
But maybe Luke is not meant to be the figure of hope anymore. Maybe Rey will take up the torch and lead him and Kylo Ren and other wayward souls back to the light side.
We can’t take Hamill’s “it is possible” as confirmation that Luke turns dark in The Last Jedi. But it is safe to assume Luke is, or has been for some time in a very dark place.