Rey's journey is just beginning, but Luke Skywalker's story might be coming to an end. This weekend is Star Wars Celebration, and fans of the franchise are being treated to an incredible amount of news on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the future of the franchise. There have been plenty of interesting comments coming from the first big panel of the weekend, but the biggest thing to come from the event today is the trailer for the film, which heavily features Mark Hamill's Luke Sykwalker as he trains Rey (Daisy Ridley).
Skywalker was noticeably absent from most of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, appearing only in the final scenes, as Rey tracks him down to hand over his lightsaber in an incredible moment. From the trailer (and from previous interviews and comments), fans know that Luke will be playing a much bigger role in the upcoming Last Jedi, but today Hamill hinted that it may well be his last appearance in the franchise.
Speaking to Fandango at Star Wars Celebration, Hamill revealed that he had some trouble getting his head around how his character has changed in the decades since we last saw him. He also spoke about the possibility that he will not be returning for the ninth Star Wars movie. He wouldn't give a straight answer (obviously), but 'smirked' that he return is "to be determined".
Well he’s a completely different person. He had an arc [in the original trilogy], and I think Carrie and Harrison admitted their characters were pretty much the same throughout, but Luke was always changing. Now we have this 30-year gap between the films, so a lot of if is conjecture. It’s not specifically my story – Rey is now the protagonist.
I think you’ll find some things that’ll surprise you. They certainly surprised me. I said to Rian, I think I fundamentally disagree with everything you’ve decided for me. Now having said that, I have to accept it, get my mind around it and do my best to realize your vision. Once I got into it, a lot of my fears went away.
That’s why I enjoy Rogue One so much… because I’m not in it. This is a little too high-profile for me.
While Hamill's words seem to suggest that The Last Jedi may be the end of Luke Skywalker's long journey, they are not a confirmation that he won't be appearing again. The upcoming film is going to be very Luke-centric, and as we saw in The Force Awakens, Disney isn't afraid to kill off major characters. It's certainly possible that Luke will not survive to the end of the film. That said, not even death guarantees the end of a character's appearances in this franchise, as multiple ghosts have appeared in the past.
What we do know for sure is that audiences are going to see a very different Luke in the upcoming movie, and that while he'll be a prominent figure in The Last Jedi, Rey is going to remain the real focus.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018