There’s been a number of viral videos (like this one, for example) doing the rounds lately of an apparently glum Mark Hamill explaining that the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi left him disappointed and depressed. Fans angry with the direction taken in the film have seized upon the actor’s comments as proof that Hamill secretly disagreed with Rian Johnson’s take on the Star Wars universe, but was forced to go along with it for contractual reasons.
This simply isn’t true, though. Unusually for Hollywood, Mark Hamill is actually a very honest interviewee and tends not to sugarcoat his opinions. Much of the negative things we hear in these interviews are just the actor’s initial reactions to the script from the first time he read it. At the start, he did have some problems with it, as revealed in an interview with The New York Times in October, in which he explained how his understandable attachment to Luke left him shocked at his situation in The Last Jedi.
“That’s the hard part. You don’t want to admit how possessive you’ve become. There are times where you go, ‘Really? That’s what they think of Luke? I’m not only in disagreement – I’m insulted.’ But that’s the process and you thrash it all out.”
It’s that “thrashing it all out” process though that proved to be most important, as by all accounts, once Hamill actually sat down and spoke with Johnson as to what Luke’s role in The Last Jedi was, he was wholly on board. If you’ve seen the film you can understand why, as (at least in my opinion) Luke’s post-Return of the Jedi story makes a lot of sense and he gets an absolutely perfect conclusion to his arc in the finale.
For Hamill’s part, he seems annoyed with these video edits that fans are making which show him bashing the film and wants to set the record straight, saying on Twitter:
SHOUT-OUT to @rianjohnson for no particular reason other than being my friend, collaborator & guru. You quelled my fears, listened to my endless stream of terrible ideas & occasionally used a few here & there. #GenialGenius#ThanksFromAGr8fulPadawan
Not only that, but when a fan called Hamill out for the fact that he “hated Rian’s story,” Mark fired back, saying: Never said that, so don’t use quotation marks, please.
Call me crazy, but I’m confident that one day, The Last Jedi is going to be considered in the same breath as The Empire Strikes Back as the very pinnacle of Star Wars quality, and the note-perfect send off to Luke Skywalker is a huge part of that. It might be a long shot, but I’m also hopeful that Hamill’s faith in Rian Johnson is rewarded with at least a couple of nods come awards season. He gave a tremendous performance in the film and deserves to be recognized for it.
What do you make of all this, though? Are you happy with what Star Wars: The Last Jedi did with Luke? Or do you have problems with his character arc? Let us know in the usual place!