How Alec Guinness Influenced Mark Hamill’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi Performance

Obi- Wan and Luke on Tatooine in A New Hope

It's a great time to be a Star Wars fan. After the less than stellar prequel trilogy, Disney took over the iconic franchise, and is planning to release one film every year for the foreseeable future. The next installment is a particularly exciting one, as Star Wars: The Last Jedi will continue the main narrative of the property, and will finally bring Luke Skywalker back to the silver screen in a significant way. The fandom is eager to see Mark Hamill wield a lightsaber and train Rey, and now the actor has revealed how his performance has been influenced by the late Alec Guinness. While Luke will be his own character, Hamill took a page from the OG Obi-Wan's book in regards to his physical performance.

Mark Hamill recently spoke to Yahoo about his role in the highly anticipated Last Jedi. When asked how Alec Guinness affecting his characterization, he said:

I channeled his dignity and his composure. But Obi-Wan has a much different backstory than Luke, so although there are many similarities, you have to really sort of take ownership of your own character.

This makes a great deal of sense. While Luke is a bonafide Jedi Master at this point, he's a very different character than Obi-Wan. As such, we should probably expect a far less stoic portrayal than Alec Guinness' iconic Obi-Wan.

As Mark Hamill pointed out, the difference between Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi can be boiled down to their respective backstories. Because while they're both fierce Jedi, their tutelage couldn't be more different. Obi-Wan went through the many years at the Jedi Academy in Coruscant. He served as Padawan before being promoted to a Jedi Knight, and eventually a Jedi Master. As such, he's usually able to keep his emotions under control, which also helps to control his abilities.

Conversely, Luke only had a few days of training with Obi-Wan before his death at Darth Vader's hands. And while he would be taught by Yoda on Dagobah, it was fast and loose, and he left early to save his friends in Empire Strikes Back. So while Luke may be a powerful Jedi, he doesn't have the emotional control of his predecessors. Early Last Jedi rumors claimed that a scene in the film will have Luke lose his temper, and cause a massive explosion on Ahch-To. That's something that Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan would never do, and it highlights the juxtaposition between the two mentors.

It should be interesting to see all the different ways Luke Skywalker goes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill has been open about being surprised by the choices made by Rian Johnson, so it seems like anything could happen when the film finally arrives.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will fly into theaters on December 16th. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.