How Mark Hamill Gave The Last Jedi's Luke More Nuance

Mark Hamill is a legend in the Star Wars Universe. In fact, it can be argued that he is the Star Wars Universe. He is best known for playing Luke Skywalker, the main protagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy and an important figure in the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Galactic Empire. Mark Hamill has also made a name for himself outside the realm of Luke Skywalker by voicing one of the most well known villains in the DC Universe - The Joker. Now Mark Hamill is stepping back into the role of Luke Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will open on December 15, 2017.

Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Mark Hamill on Press Day, where we discussed how Hamill’s vision of Luke differed from director Rian Johnson’s vision of Luke moving forward into this latest chapter and what personal experiences did he pull from to take on a more dark and somber Luke.

SR: Did your vision and Rian's vision, did it coincide with the way that Luke ends up in this film, that you thought it would all these years later?

Mark Hamill: No.

SR: No. Not at all?

Mark Hamill: Well, I think what I read it, it's like the movie it's just mind-bogglingly, complex it's challenging. It's hilarious in parts. It's suspenseful. It's dark and somber. I'm holding the fort down on the dark and somber. But, you know, I mean, the most shocking thing I read was it's time for the Jedi to end. Are you... What? and I mean, I understood Luke's regret at being wrong about who the chosen one was and he feels responsible for creating potentially the next Darth Vader and hey, I mean, ruining your nephew's life. Like not perceiving that he was going to the dark side until too late, so that weighs heavily on him. But all the characters face challenges in the second act of a three-act play or opera. I mean this is where all the darkest things happened. I mean, there's triumphs of course but more than its share of tragedies.

SR: Right. Well, you spoke about dark and somber. Question about that is was there anything personally that you drew from, or any other characters that you may have portrayed that gave this version of Luke a little more nuance?

Mark Hamill: Well, I had to find what could have happened that would make the most hopeful, optimistic character wind up in this dark place. Now, I was eleven when the Beatles hit and they were the peace and love generation, and when I was in high school I said, I believed all that. I thought by the time we get in power they'll be no more wars. We'll end world famine. Hey baby, Love Is All You Need. And that, we failed! Basically, we failed, so even though this is a fantasy, you try and find something that you can relate to in life to be able to portray that element of the screenplay and so that's what I was thinking of. Is the potential of the flower power generation and now the world is worse than it's ever been. Thought Watergate was bad? That was just two parties. Now it's a political entity with a hostile foreign government and that we've been in perpetual war. I thought, well at least after Vietnam will never get into another pointless war that will, with no clear objective. We've been in perpetual war for what seventeen, eighteen years now? This is why these movies are power so popular. Real life is so horrible. Harsh reality is so draining on the human psyche you need to go to a safe place like a galaxy far, far away.

Stay Tuned For More Star Wars: The Last Jedi Coverage This Week!

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
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