Star Wars: The Last Jedi might be earning big bucks and critical acclaim, but it’s practically causing a war between two sides of the fandom. While half love the subversive and shocking Episode VIII, the other half hate it for betraying everything we know about the franchise so far. In particular, some would say the disillusioned, depressed portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the film doesn’t gel with the character from the original trilogy. Surprisingly, one of the people who feel this way is Mark Hamill himself.
The actor has been very open in the past about how he was totally taken aback and even uncomfortable about the direction Rian Johnson took Luke’s character arc in. However, in a recent interview, he gives his most candid thoughts on The Last Jedi yet, making it clear that he has “fundamental differences” with the film’s take on Luke and even goes so far as to say that the character presented is “not my Luke Skywalker.” However, he does concede that maybe the franchise needed such a shake-up to keep it fresh.
“I said to Ryan, I said, “Jedi’s don’t give up. I mean even if he had a problem he would maybe take a year to try and regroup, but if he made a mistake he would try and right that wrong.” So right there we had a fundamental difference, but it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story, and Ryan needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective. That’s the crux of my problem. Luke would never say that. I’m sorry.”
Continuing on, he said:
Well in this version, see I’m talking about the George Lucas Star Wars. This is the next generation of Star Wars, so I almost has to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he is Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Ryan wanted me to do because it serves the story well.
But listen, I still haven’t accepted it completely. But it’s only a movie. I hope people like it. I hope they don’t get upset, and I came to really believe that Ryan was the exact man that they need for this job.”
It’s interesting that Hamill doesn’t agree with The Last Jedi‘s radical reinterpretation of Luke to the extent that he even sees it as a different version of the character. This actually feeds into what fans who dislike Episodes VII and VIII seem to think: that the Disney era of Star Wars takes place in a slightly alternate timeline from the older films. It’s a perfectly valid way of looking at it, really. If Lucasfilm can suddenly write off the Extended Universe material as “Legends,” then fans can decide the new movies aren’t canon, either.
Whatever side of the fence you sit on, it’s heartening to know that Luke clearly means so much to Mark Hamill, who has lived in the character’s kin for forty years now. But do you agree with his comments on Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Let us know in the usual place below.