Much speculation is swirling around the state in which Star Wars: The Last Jedi will find Luke Skywalker, when the film finally hits theatres at the end of the year. With only promotional artwork and snippets of teaser footage to go on, eagle-eyed fans have noted that the once overly-enthusiastic young Jedi seems to have transformed into something of a grumpy old man. Unpleasant, traumatic events have clearly befallen him since Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, but it’s not yet revealed just what caused him to flee to the secrecy of Ach-To – where Rey eventually found him in the closing moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Inevitably, as promotion for The Last Jedi picks up momentum, Mark Hamill is asked, with increasing regularity, about the new psychology of Luke Skywalker, and how it will determine the events of this next franchise instalment. We cannot expect much to be given away ahead of time, of course, but Hamill has now divulged to Empire his desire to have seen the story afford him the chance to play Skywalker’s ‘evil twin.’
“Oh baby, would I love to play my own evil twin! It’d be great because you could maybe not reveal its Evil Luke until the real Luke shows up. We could watch this guy undermining the good guys secretly – maybe even killing a supporting character out of everyone’s sight, so they all go, ‘What’s going on? He’s crazy!’ And then, of course, the good Luke shows up.”
This plot suggestion is not without precedent. The 1993 Star Wars novel The Last Command, by Timothy Zahn, features a genetic clone of Luke Skywalker – evil in nature – who was created using the hand that Luke lost in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. That’s not to suggest that this Evil Luke idea found its way into Star Wars: The Last Jedi, though.
Rather, this is just the wishful thinking of a keen performer – excited at the thought of playing two opposite versions of the same character. Of course, Mark Hamill knows how to play ‘evil’ effectively, having enjoyed a long career as the voice of The Joker in animation.
But, Luke Skywalker clearly has a much deeper darkness about him in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – and we have no choice but to wait to find out its cause. While a battle between two Lukes sounds like great cinema, Mark Hamill has already made it clear that this upcoming franchise instalment is “not about Luke,” it’s about the next generation – and the intricate minutiae of that plot will rightly remain under wraps until December 15th.