Mark Hamill reveals significant portions of Luke Skywalker's post-Return of the Jedi backstory are not important to the plot of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When Luke last played a meaningful role in a saga film, he was helping redeem Darth Vader and partying the night away with his friends on Endor, but things drastically changed over the course of the following three decades. Taking his nephew, Ben Solo, under his wing, Luke watched in horror as his prized pupil turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren, destroying everything Skywalker had built. With Kylo terrorizing the galaxy at the behest of the First Order, Luke went into self-imposed exile on Ahch-To.
The old Jedi will have a big part to play in this December's Episode VIII, and many viewers are hoping writer/director Rian Johnson will reveal several of the answers they seek in regards to Luke's new history. To date, Lucasfilm has really held Luke back in several canon materials, primarily making brief allusions to his exploits in novels. Those who want The Last Jedi to be a massive information dump getting fans up to speed with what happened to Luke these last 30 years may be disappointed by Hamill's latest comments.
Related: Luke Hasn't Turned to the Dark Side
Sitting down with Disney Insider, the actor was asked about his approach to portraying an older Luke and stated the greatest challenge he faced on the film was figuring out what had become of his classic character:
"The biggest challenge for me was actually in the time between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to know what had happened to Luke during those years. I had to glean decades of backstory from the script. And some of it I had to make up for myself. I had to know what he went through during that time. It’s not important to the storyline for this film, but I did discuss some of my thoughts with Rian Johnson to make sure I wasn’t coming up with anything in my personal backstory that would affect Luke’s portrayal in this film."
This is similar to what Hamill said over the summer, when he confirmed The Last Jedi leaves a lot to the audiences' imagination when it comes to Luke's history. Surely, some moviegoers will perceive this as frustrating, but it's best to hold off judgment until the film is released. One of Johnson's more famous quotes during the buildup to Episode VIII is that a story isn't a Wikipedia page, meaning everything he included in the script is there to service the narrative of his movie. There most likely will be references to Luke's past in Last Jedi, but it will only be what fans absolutely need to hear/see in order for the Last Jedi story to work properly. Much like Rey's parentage, Luke's future and who he becomes over the remainder of the sequel trilogy is more interesting than who he was.
Whatever broad strokes are presented will almost definitely be elaborated upon at some point in time after the film comes out, however. With the story group hard at work planning not just movies, but books, comics, and everything in between, more detailed accounts of Luke's adventures after Return of the Jedi should be available soon. The studio, smartly, wanted The Last Jedi to be our first real taste of Skywalker in this new era and now the floodgates can be opened.
Source: Disney Insider
- 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