If Rian Johnson is working to maintain some semblance of mystery around Supreme Leader Snoke – word is The Last Jedi will answer most (but not all!) of our questions come December – then the sequel’s writer-director has adopted a similar approach to the great Luke Skywalker.
Mark Hamill’s all-powerful Force-user went into exile soon after the events of Jedi, and it was only when Daisy Ridley’s Rey touched down on Ahch-To that Star Wars fans caught a glimpse of Hamill’s jaded hero. And though he was initially taken aback by Rian Johnson’s vision for the character – The Last Jedi is poised to introduce a “haunted” Luke who is essentially a shell of his former self – Hamill warned fans that Luke’s backstory is of little importance to Lucasfilm’s imminent sequel.
The biggest challenge for me was actually in the time between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to know what had happened to Luke during those years. I had to glean decades of backstory from the script. And some of it I had to make up for myself. I had to know what he went through during that time. It’s not important to the storyline for this film, but I did discuss some of my thoughts with Rian Johnson to make sure I wasn’t coming up with anything in my personal backstory that would affect Luke’s portrayal in this film.
As for The Last Jedi‘s initial teaser, in which Luke can be heard uttering the line, “it’s time for the Jedi…to end,” Mark Hamill admitted that he was just as shocked as everyone else.
Per Disney Insider:
I’m sure this line is a great shock to the audience, so you can imagine how I felt! This is a huge change for a character who once represented optimism and hope. It’s a radical decision to drop out of everything he’s ever believed in. The entire movie is filled with these kinds of jaw-dropping surprises, but you’ll just have to see the film itself to discover what they are.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th, and when it does, it’ll reportedly herald our first peek at Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ron Howard’s anthology flick that looked to have fallen prey to development woes mid-way through production. Those reports of extensive reshoots – 80 percent of the spinoff was allegedly overhauled – naturally struck fear in the hearts of Star Wars fans, but if nothing else, Lucasfilm has earned the benefit of the doubt after course-correcting Rogue One late last year.