Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson played with the concept of making series icon Luke Skywalker blind for the new movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a tough job when it relaunched the franchise on the big screen; it had to bring back audiences who were disappointed with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, reintroduce famous characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia, and at the same time introduce new heroes that fans would also come to love.
While the film wasn’t flawless, The Force Awakens worked remarkably well in these above goals and ended on the most literal cliffhanger imaginable, as Rey tracked down Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi will mark the true return of the latter character, who is in self-imposed exile following his nephew Kylo Ren turning to the dark side. Luke will train Rey in the latest chapter, though some fans believe the character himself may have turned evil too - something Mark Hamill himself denies will be the case.
Figuring out Luke’s arc was always going to be a critical part of The Last Jedi, and writer/director Rian Johnson revealed to Vanity Fair that he toyed with a couple of interesting ideas for the character during the film's development. It turns out Johnson wanted to reinvent Luke in a profound way:
Did I ever tell you that early on when I was trying to figure out the story for this, I had a brief idea I was chasing where I was like, ‘What if Luke is blind?’ What if he’s, like, the blind samurai?’ But we didn’t do it. You’re welcome. Didn’t stick.”
While having Luke become something of a blind samurai might have been an intriguing concept, it’s probably an idea best left on the cutting room floor. At the very least, it might spoil the meaningful final image of The Force Awakens if audiences realize Luke can’t actually see Rey or the lightsaber she’s holding out to him. Hamill also chipped in the on the Blind Luke notion in the article, and how it would reframe the ending of the previous movie with “Luke, not too close to the cliff!”
It should be noted that this concept was toyed with before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior who helps the Rebel Alliance steal the original Death Star plans. The character wasn't originally blind in the script, with Yen himself suggesting the idea to director Gareth Edwards.
As for the proper return of Luke Skywalker, that's obviously an event that Star Wars fans have long been waiting for. In the final build-up to the movie's theatrical release, Hamill himself has come out to ask viewers to avoid revealing spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and help preserve its surprises for as long as possible.
Source: Vanity Fair
- 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
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019