Fans of the Star Wars franchise likely have a distinct understanding of who Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is based on the original trilogy. However, the broken and hopeless version of the character hinted at in The Last Jedi seems like a massive left turn from audience expectations. We recently sat down with Mark Hamill to talk about director Rian Johnson's vision for the character in the new movie, and Hamill admitted that he was initially "appalled" by the decision to send Luke down this dark path. As Hamill put it:
Well, without giving anything away, 'It's time for the Jedi to end?' Are you kidding me? I was the most optimistic, hopeful character in all the movies. How could he arrive at a place where he's a cynical hermit. It's beyond comprehension.
Seeing Luke Skywalker hit such a low point in The Last Jedi (after hearing about his descent in The Force Awakens) seems contrary to everything that we have come to expect from him. This is the hero who willingly took several blasts of Force Lightning from Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) just to convince Darth Vader to return to the Light Side. However, it seems that his failed attempt to restart the Jedi Order, likely coupled with the death of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the last movie, will put Luke on a darker and more cynical path than anything that we have seen from him before. It's a direction that few people could've seen coming, and it apparently baffled Mark Hamill when the idea was first presented to him.
Elsewhere in our conversation with Mark Hamill, we asked him to clarify how he felt about such a dramatic shift for Luke and he made sure to confirm that he was initially against it when he first heard about it. About the change, Hamill said he was:
Appalled. Yeah. A Jedi never gives up. If he makes a mistake he corrects it.
On that note, it remains to be seen whether or not Luke will stay dark and cynical throughout the run of The Last Jedi's arc. He apparently seems wary of the arrival of Rey (Daisy Ridley) on his island, and her possible turn to the Dark Side appears to validate his palpable fear of her, but only time will tell if our beloved hero will continue to hide in the face of evil.
Amid all of Mark Hamill's apprehension about Rian Johnson's vision for Luke Skywalker during the events of The Last Jedi, the actor still made sure to note that he had nothing but good things to say about Johnson as a filmmaker and as a person. The decision has arguably helped keep comparisons to Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan Kenobi at bay, which has allowed The Last Jedi to move into new storytelling territory. Even with Mark Hamill's apprehension, he was able to get onboard in the interest of keeping things fresh and different. Here's Hamill, opening up about The Last Jedi:
Mark Hamill eventually warmed up to the direction that Rian Johnson wanted to take Luke Skywalker once production commenced, and we will see how it all pans out when The Last Jedi debuts in theaters on December 15. Get your tickets for the film now and take a look at our handy Episode VIII guide to get yourself up-to-date on the Star Wars story!