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The impending release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has long been confirmed to see the return of one cinema’s most iconic protagonists in Luke Skywalker. Yet, it is the manner in which Luke will be returning that has been one of the predominant sources of speculation for a film that is already riddled with speculation. However, star, Mark Hamill just may have given some insight into the future direction of his Luke character that may dispel some big rumors that emerged towards the end of last year.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains what could potentially be major, major spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you do not wish to know about certain plot points in the film before it's released, we recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles.
As you may remember, back in October there was a massive Star Wars: The Force Awakens rumor that began swirling around suggesting that the new film would reveal that Luke Skywalker was unable to resist the draw of the dark side and would follow in his father's less-than-heroic footsteps. In analyzing new comments from Mark Hamill, however, it sounds as though that rumor was completely erroneous and that we can still expect the Jedi from Tattooine to still be fighting for the forces of good in the next chapter of the sci-fi saga.
The actor recently called in to the Schmoes Know Podcast to discuss his current appearance in this past weekend’s release, Kingsman: The Secret Service, but - as you would expect - also indulged the show's hosts with some Episode VII discussion. When asked a question about what Luke would be doing with himself after all these years, Hamill detailed his approach to Luke’s direction towards the end of the Original Trilogy, reflecting where he might be in the new film. Said the actor,
Well, part of the answer to that question involves what I thought of the script to my final chapter. The way Episode [VI] indicated that Luke would be terribly conflicted and possibly be giving in to his darker impulses to achieve short term goals. Now I had no question that he would redeem himself at the very end, but I thought as dangerous as the Empire was that George would go in the direction of me betraying someone before I realized the error of my ways, Ebenezer Scrooge style. So I was enormously mislead. I mean I was completely wrong on that assumption.
It seems that Mark Hamill was under the impression he was heading towards a trip to the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi that would have had Luke’s character arc become one of redemption. Instead, it reflects a stark difference between his own vision and the direction of the franchise - but what's potentially more interesting is how this quote can be viewed in the context of a post-production Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If Hamill's initial impression that Luke was headed to the Dark Side is still wrong after playing his part in Episode VII, is that an implication that the rumors about his side-switching from a few months ago were false?
With the idea pretty well established that the returning Original Trilogy players will not be central to the plot of The Force Awakens, and the arrival of these new quotes, it does seem that idea of "Dark Luke" showing up the film is rather slim. Instead, it seems more likely that we can expect Luke’s character to be more of a bearded recluse living in a cave who, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, will likely pass the torch to the new generation of primary characters. Furthermore, judging from Hamill’s apparent acceptance of his role in playing supporting parts - as he has just done in Kingsman - the idea of proceeding without a dark turn for Luke appears to be an acceptable outcome for his career-making character.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will likely prove that Luke calling the Millennium Falcon "a piece of junk" is as Dark Side as he’ll get when it hits theaters on December 18th.