Mark Hamill Gets Candid about His ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Arc

     December 16, 2017

star-wars-the-last-jedi-mark-hamill-slice

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow below. If you haven’t seen the movie, turn back now.

.

.

.

.

.

.

star-wars-the-last-jedi-luke-mark-hamill

Image via Lucasfilm

If you’re reading this I assume you’ve seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which means you know what happens with Luke Skywalker. Mark Hamill has never been one to mince words, and he was upfront about the fact that his initial reaction to finding out he has a total of 30 seconds of screentime in The Force Awakens was not exactly super positive. The Last Jedi, then, is Luke’s long-awaited return to the big screen, but this time around—as Luke says in the trailers—things do not play out as expected.

Luke is dead. That’s a weird thing to type, but yes, at the end of The Last Jedi, after moping around for years with regret and embarrassment, Luke rises to the occasion so the Resistance can live to fight another day, force projecting himself into a battle with former student/one-time potential murder victim Ben Solo (Adam Driver). The effort takes all that Luke has, and he fades away peacefully at the end of the film.

star-wars-the-last-jedi-daisy-ridley-mark-hamill

Image via Lucasfilm

So how did writer/director Rian Johnson feel about killing off the protagonist of the main franchise? Speaking with EW at a Q&A following an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences screening, Johnson admitted he was scared about it, but felt it was the right story decision:

“I had huge hesitance. I was terrified. It was a growing sense of dread when I realized this was going to make sense in that chapter… It was not like I wrote the script and dropped it on their desk. It was very important to me that I was collaborating with the folks at Lucasfilm from the word go. I moved to San Francisco for a few months and would go in a few times a week to keep them up to date, spewing my ideas out, especially the big ones.”

Hamill, understandably, was surprised as well, and at the same event revealed that he initially asked for a stay of execution:

“Well, I’m still in denial,” Hamill joked. “I just think he transported somewhere else… The first thing I said was, ‘Can’t you wait and do this in Episode IX?’”

star-wars-the-last-jedi-daisy-ridley-rey

Image via Lucasfilm

But Johnson rightly realized this new trilogy was about the passing of the baton, and in that way Episode IX has to be about this new generation of heroes:

“I think the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker concluded in Return of the Jedi. This [trilogy] is the hero’s journey of Rey, and Finn, and Poe,” Johnson said. “The [ongoing] story of Luke is one that has to play in tandem with that of Rey.”

While it may be hard to catch on first viewing of the film between the tears and gasps, the film’s editor and producer teased that Johnson took great care in ensuring that The Last Jedi has rewatchability. If you look closely in the confrontation between Luke and Kylo Ren, Luke never once touches Kylo and their lightsabers never meet. There are subtle clues throughout that Luke is not actually there—including the fact that he, you know, isn’t pulverized by all those cannon blasts.

Latest News

Close