Mark Hamill still doesn't fully understand Luke Skywalker's story in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Eight months after the film was released in theaters, it continues to inspire heated debates about its various creative choices. The portrayal of Luke, hero of the original trilogy, proved to be one of its most controversial aspects. Longtime fans couldn't fathom that the man who brought Darth Vader back to the light would turn his back on his friends and remove himself from the fight - even when he was needed.
Director Rian Johnson's narrative surprised many people, including Hamill himself. In the lead-up to the movie's release, Hamill infamously remarked that he "fundamentally disagreed" with the way Luke was written, but later went on to say he regretted making those criticisms public (since creative disagreements are always part of the filmmaking process). But even though Hamill's experience on The Last Jedi made Johnson one of his favorite directors, he still doesn't completely grasp Luke's path post-Return of the Jedi.
On Twitter, a follower asked Hamill what else caused Luke to flee into exile. The Last Jedi depicts Skywalker's failure with Ben Solo, but to some that wasn't enough to explain why Luke ran away. Check out the interaction in the space below:
In The Last Jedi, the only reasoning given for Luke's disappearance is the fleeting moment where Luke contemplated murdering Ben in his sleep (after sensing his prized apprentice had fallen to the dark side). This caused Luke to feel tremendous shame, and when Ben transformed into Kylo Ren and destroyed Skywalker's training temple, he felt responsible for the birth of a new evil in the galaxy. Ben wasn't just a student of Luke's, he was also Skywalker's nephew and the son of Luke's two best friends - Han Solo and Princess Leia. On the surface, this incident may not seem like much, but it's easy to see why Luke would be so devastated. He thought he could lead a new generation of Jedi and failed tremendously. He thought the universe would be a better place without the Order's ways and went off to die with the last remnants of the religion.
It's also worth remembering Luke has always been fairly impulsive and makes knee-jerk reactions - even if they aren't for the best. In The Empire Strikes Back, he cut his training with Yoda short so he could try to save Han and Leia and ended up failing. Many times during his isolation on Ahch-To, he was prepared to burn down the Jedi Temple, only to have second thoughts. In some ways, Luke fleeing after making a single (yet grave) mistake is consistent with his character. Perhaps one day either a novel or comic series can detail what else happened to Luke after the original trilogy, but for now, the flashbacks in The Last Jedi will have to do.
Source: Mark Hamill
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019