Contrary to what you’ve heard, Mark Hamill is happy with Rian Johnson and his variation of Luke Skywalker for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Don’t believe everything you read, especially on the Internet. If so, you would be under the impression that Mark Hamill “hates” the way Luke Skywalker turned out for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You would also believe that he and Rian Johnson are at odds.
Context is king, especially when combing through so-called “reports” from websites looking to generate more clicks, the wrong way, that is.
If you listen to Hamill’s initial reaction alone, it would make sense why these “reports” are floating around.
"I said ‘Jedis don’t give up…It’s somebody else’s story, and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective…"
If Skywalker just came back like he did in the original trilogy, an optimistic fighter, he’s just an older version of Rey.
To be fair, Jedi have given up in the past. Just take Masters Yoda and Kenobi, both who went into exile due to failing the galaxy.
But, Luke Skywalker was supposed to be different. The optimistic Jedi, a Jedi of a new generation. He was, until Darkness arose inside of him, in a moment of panic realizing that his nephew, Ben Solo, had followed in Darth Vader’s footsteps.
A moment of fear arose in Luke while sensing the full power of the Dark Side within Ben Solo. For a moment. Just one moment, Luke Skywalker gave into fear.
He then came to his senses and resisted the Dark Side urges of killing Ben Solo. But, at that point, it was too late. Snoke had already turned Solo’s heart, and Luke gave him enough of a reason to finally expose his true self.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
After Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) destroyed everything that Luke spent two decades rebuilding, it nearly shattered the once hopeful man. In fact, it broke the optimistic Jedi Master, to the core.
Tragedy has a way of changing a person, and Luke Skywalker is no different. That’s the point of the character come the events of The Last Jedi.
Rian Johnson knew that his take on Luke Skywalker would not be accepted at first. Even Mark Hamill was not at all impressed with this “new” version of Luke. Just ask Rian Johnson, himself.
"It wasn’t the thing he wanted to necessarily hear. Understandably so. Mark had all these years to think what Luke’s triumphant return would be. Luke’s the hero coming back into this story, and the fact that this character and this movie could not be that."
However, those concerns of Hamill’s changed their tune when he watched the final product of The Last Jedi.
"I came to really believe that Rian was the exact man that they needed for this job."
Mark Hamill is spot on in his assessment of the film’s writer and director. Rian Johnson was (likely) the only person who had enough stones to take this risk. To give the galaxy a broken, old man, “get off my lawn” variation of Luke Skywalker.
And, it paid off, big time, with Hamill’s best performance of the character to date, by far.
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For those of you not on board, it’s understandable. Who doesn’t want the Luke Skywalker from the original films? The hero we all grew up admiring.
The man who was able to say no to the Dark Side advances of the Emperor, and also his father, Darth Vader. We wanted that same hero in The Last Jedi.
At the end of the film, that hero does return. But, it took Rey and Master Yoda to remind Luke that the very hero from time’s past was still inside of him.
When he returns to his old ways, it makes the jaded Luke from the first two acts of the film even more special. Luke Skywalker is back and like never before.
He transcends to a whole new level, focusing on the luminous aspect of the Force, not that crude matter. At the end of The Last Jedi, not only does Luke Skywalker rise from the ashes and rediscover his true self, he finally becomes the Jedi Master he always hoped to be.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently playing in theatres worldwide.