Star Wars: The Last Jedi has proven to be quite a divisive film among the franchise’s more passionate fans, to the point where it’s really not surprising to hear that even members of the cast had some reservations about Rian Johnson’s direction the story and characters.
Mark Hamill infamously freaked out a bit when he first read Johnson’s script and has previously stated that it took him some time to get on board with the filmmaker’s direction for his character, Luke Skywalker. With The Last Jedi now in theaters, Hamill has clarified his thoughts on Luke Skywalker in a new interview with the folks at Jar Jar Abrams, explaining that the problem for him is that he doesn’t believe Luke would ever give up.
“I said to Rian ‘Jedi don’t give up,” Hamill said.
“I mean, even if he had a problem, he would maybe take ayear 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 Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective.’
“That’s the crux of my problem. Luke would never say that [presumably, Hamill is referring to Luke’s now-infamous statement, “It’s time for the Jedi to end”]. I’m sorry. 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 had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well.”
Setting aside the fact that both of Luke’s Jedi role models, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, had very much “given up” on the Jedi and being heroes when Luke first met them, it’s clear that Hamill didn’t let his disagreement with Johnson get in the way of his performance or the film’s direction, as he admits that he ultimately deferred to the writer-director’s vision for The Last Jedi. “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 Rian was the exact man that they needed for this job.”
The full interview can be found below.