Mark Hamill has revealed that the original ending to Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed the Force was still strong with Luke Skywalker. The Force Awakens had the tough task of picking up the story of the original trilogy over three decades later, and while J.J. Abrams' film was far from flawless, it managed to introduce likeable new heroes while bringing back fan favorites like Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca.
The story for The Force Awakens is powered by the disappearance of series icon Luke Skywalker, and the entire film builds to the somewhat literal cliffhanger where new heroine Rey finally tracks him down on a remote island. The Last Jedi reveals the tragic circumstances surrounding his self-imposed exile, and that he’s turned his back on the Force entirely.
Now Mark Hamill has revealed in a new interview with Mtime that this wasn’t originally the plan, and The Force Awakens original ending would have contradicted Luke’s arc in The Last Jedi:
"When we were doing [The Force Awakens], Rian said, 'Oh and by the way we might have a couple of boulders floating to show your Force emanating', so I was led to believe that I still had the Force and it was really strong in me,"
Fortunately, Hamill pointed out the discontinuity between films before The Force Awakens was released in theaters:
"When I read [The Last Jedi] before 7 came out, I said 'what?" and called J.J. or Rian to say, 'Are you guys aware of this? Have you seen a cut? Is there floating boulders?' And they said, 'No, we caught that and we worked it all out'."
Luke’s rejection of the Force plays a major part in the story of The Last Jedi, so it was wise to remove any hint he might still be practising in The Force Awakens. Luke’s role in The Last Jedi has proven controversial since the film’s release, however, with some fans arguing Luke would never turn his back on the Force. Even Hamill voiced his doubts about Luke’s arc in the movie, though he later admitted to being won around by the story, and regrets voicing his doubts in interviews.
While The Last Jedi has received praise from critics and a fair portion of the fanbase, there has also been a vocal backlash by some fans to certain elements. Some were upset with how The Last Jedi handled key reveals like Rey’s parentage and Supreme Leader Snoke, in addition to its handling of Luke Skywalker. It will be interesting to see how Lucasfilm deals with this divisive reaction moving forward, as J.J. Abrams returns to round out the current trilogy with Star Wars: Episode IX.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019