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Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill open up about the finale of The Last Jedi

12.16.2017

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI BELOW

 

I’ve warned you…

 

Alright then…

 

One of the highlights of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI was seeing the long-awaited return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) after only getting a word-less cameo appearance at the end of THE FORCE AWAKENS.  As the trailers indicated, this new Luke is not the one we were introduced to on Tatooine all those years ago. He is now a broken man, dealing with the failure of losing Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to the dark side.

By the end of the movie he had to make a choice, and he ended up facing his demons by squaring off against Ren at the end of the movie. Turns out Luke wasn’t really there and used the Force to project himself onto Crait, giving the Resistance time to escape and sparking hope across the galaxy. When we cut back to Ahch-To, Luke is still there, looks at the sun, and then fades into the wind. Luke is gone, and while speaking with EW after a screening of the movie for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Johnson said this was one of the most terrifying pitches of the whole production:

I had huge hesitance. I was terrified. It was a growing sense of dread when I realized this was going to make sense in that chapter… It was not like I wrote the script and dropped it on their desk. It was very important to me that I was collaborating with the folks at Lucasfilm from the word go. I moved to San Francisco for a few months and would go in a few times a week to keep them up to date, spewing my ideas out, especially the big ones.

Mark Hamill also had some hesitations, originally requesting that maybe they hold off and putting him on the chopping block until Episode IX:

Well, I’m still in denial,” Hamill joked. “I just think he transported somewhere else… The first thing I said was, ‘Can’t you wait and do this in Episode IX?

By the end of the movie the point is driven home that this movie is not about characters of past STAR WARS movies, and Johnson believes the focus needs to be entirely on these new characters:

I think the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker concluded in RETURN OF THE JEDI. This [trilogy] is the hero’s journey of Rey, and Finn, and Poe. The [ongoing] story of Luke is one that has to play in tandem with that of Rey.

But Hamill is still waiting by the phone for that call that tells him to come back to work:

I’m just still holding on to the line, ‘See you around, kid.’ I can be in Episode Nine!” I might consider catering the film just so I can hang out.

As bittersweet as it was to see Luke go it needed to happen.  The character is an important figure in the series, no doubt, but his story is, indeed, over. Johnson did an excellent job building on Luke’s arc, showing him as a disillusioned man wracked with guilt. By the end, he comes to terms with everything and delivers one more redemptive act. The finale will be squarely focused on the new characters now, but that doesn’t mean Luke can’t come back in some form. Maybe ghost Luke can come back with Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin and watch the finale play out.  

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is in theaters now!

Source: EW

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