One of the most controversial elements of Star Wars: The Last Jedi among fans was how Luke Skywalker was handled in the story. It didn’t help that Mark Hamill didn’t agree with director Rian Johnson‘s take on the character going as far as saying this is “not my Luke Skywalker.”
Well, the two have finally come together during a BAFTA Q&A where they talk about their disagreement over Luke Skywalker and why they took the character in the direction that they did. Hamill reveals that his take on the character would have been darker.
“I was amazed at the complexity of it, that it was so challenging, the range of emotions, every color in the pallet. Mine happened to be of a darker hue.”
Johnson went on to explain why Luke is on the island and that his goal wasn’t to make him look like a coward. He also explains that Skywalker sees what he’s doing as a heroic act:
“That was part of the challenge with the character of Luke. It felt like I couldn’t have him on the island because he’s a coward or he’s giving up. He had to have an active reason he was there. His reason is, he genuinely believes the Jedi are a hindrance to the galaxy. And so he actually turns it into this kind of heroic act he’s taken on his shoulders of, he knows his friends are suffering and he’s making the choice to do the most painful, difficult thing for him, which is take himself out of the fight.”
Hamill adds that he had to pretty much erase from his mind what he wanted Luke to be an realize the vision that Johnson had created:
“Well, you have to trust someone. As long as I was able to express my reservations about Luke — because you can’t help but feel some measure of ownership like ‘Luke wouldn’t say that,’ or ‘Luke wouldn’t do this,’ — but once we had that conversation, my job was to wipe out what Mark Hamill wants and do my best to realize Rian’s vision.
“And I thought I’m going to turn over everything. I usually have an [interal] mechanism that says ‘this feels right,’ ‘this doesn’t feel right.’ All throughout the process… he’d say, ‘we got it.’ I’d say ‘shouldn’t we do one more?’ and he’d say ‘no, we got it.’ I said, well, Rian, if you’re happy, I’m happy.
“He was my seeing-eye dog, so if I’ve succeeded in any way, it’s all because of Rian. And also if I fail, it’s also because of Rian. See, a Jedi never takes responsibility.”
In the end, Hamill and Johnson both seem happy with how things turned out regardless of how the fans were split on how the character was handled. What do you think about what they had to say about Luke Skywalker here?