WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Mark Hamill has already publicly admitted that he wasn’t initially on board with Rian Johnson’s vision for Luke in The Last Jedi. In the sequel, the eighth film in the franchise, Luke is revealed to have been living alone on a remote island having renounced the Force. Why? Because a Jedi academy he established went very wrong when nephew Ben Solo embraced the Dark Side under his tutelage and made off with a bunch of Luke’s students…. and then transformed himself into Supreme Leader-in-training, Kylo Ren. Whoops.
Despite fans appreciating his honesty, Hamill has since regretted letting his feelings known.
“I hate people using that now: ‘See? Even Mark Hamill hates it!’” Hamill tells FANDOM as he sits cross-legged, adopting Luke’s famous pose, in the comfort of an easy chair. “First of all, I never said that. I just said I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know what to make of it. That’s far from saying [I hate it]. But I hate to give them fodder. I finally had to tweet that I was wrong. I’m the first to admit it.”
But, what we want to know is: has Hamill’s outlook on Luke’s journey changed? The short answer is yes, “because it was spelled out in a way that I didn’t expect.”
He explains, “I said it before I’d read the script – I hadn’t seen it in context of the film. It works great in the film for what they need. And if he didn’t act that way…? It’s sort of like adistraction. Because every time you cut, [Luke] says ‘No’. ‘Train me,’ [says Rey] ‘No.’ ‘Get off my island. No. No.’ It’s no, no, no. And so finally [Rey] just gives up and leaves. Then you don’t see [Luke] for, I don’t know, half an hour. So that hopefully, by the time he shows up again, you thought he’s off the radar screen. So it works in the context of the film in a way that I didn’t anticipate before I saw the final cut.”
It Must Be Love
So that’s the short answer. But what about the longer answer? He accepts Rian Johnson’s arc, but maintains his own ideas about where he saw Luke headed. So, what did Hamill envision for Skywalker in The Last Jedi?
“Like all good fairytales, they lived happily ever after at the end of Return of the Jedi,” he explains. “There’s my father at peace in the sky with Obi-Wan and with Yoda. And I guess I’m sort of more conventional. I would have liked to have seen [Luke] maybe fall in love with a woman to the point where he leaves the Jedi behind.
“Are Jedis allowed to be married? I don’t even know the terms. Fans know more about it than I do. Since Obi-Wan wasn’t, it makes me believe maybe they are meant to be celibate. I don’t know. But if you found a woman that you truly loved, it’s very romantic to think you’d leave the cloth, [the] collar behind for the love of a woman. And maybe have a child of your own, and so forth.
“So, I’m in that realm. I never saw him become so cynical and dark, even suicidal. ‘I came here to die,’ he says. But the thing is, Rian loves to upset the applecart and do the unexpected and I have to admit, this was unexpected. And since it’s his job to come up with the story, not mine, all I said was I just have to get this off my chest. I’m not going to fight you about it but as long as you know where I stand, I’ll follow you anywhere. I’ll try and do the best I can to realise your vision. But I didn’t want to do it harbouring resentment.”
In Hamill’s vision, then, Luke would still have relinquished the Jedi-hood but for entirely different reasons. Hamill’s version would also have given the universe another Skywalker to perhaps follow in his or her father’s footsteps. Which rules him out once and for all as the father of a certain character over whom there’s been plenty of speculation. With a question mark still hanging over Rey’s parentage, Hamill’s words indicate that we’ll never see Luke revealed as Rey’s secret father, putting one much-debated theory to bed.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download in the US. In the UK you can get your hands on the film on all formats from April 9.