'The Last Jedi': Mark Hamill Reveals That Luke Is Haunted by the Same Mistakes as Obi-Wan

Thursday, 10 August 2017 - 10:04AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Thursday, 10 August 2017 - 10:04AM
'The Last Jedi': Mark Hamill Reveals That Luke Is Haunted by the Same Mistakes as Obi-Wan
Image credit: Lucasfilm
Mark Hamill has given us a little more insight into the mind of grumpy, depressed Luke Skywalker. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hamill revealed just why Kylo Ren's betrayal prior to The Force Awakens was such a big deal that Luke decided he didn't want to live in the known galaxy anymore—the takeaway is that, as a general rule, if any Star Wars character thinks they've come across The Chosen One, it's probably a good idea to just leave them in a ditch somewhere and never look back. It's something Obi-Wan should have done with Anakin, and it's something Luke apparently should have done with Kylo:

Opening quote
"[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That's the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It's that guilt, that feeling that it's his fault, that he didn't detect the darkness in him until it was too late."
Closing quote


Just out of interest, not only is this the exact plot of the prequel Star Wars movies, but it's also the story of the original Kung Fu Panda. The tropes run deep here. Meanwhile, Rey realizes that Luke isn't going to be a willing teacher—as Daisy Ridley describes it, Rey's thoughts are:

Opening quote
'Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he's gone, and instead I'm with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn't want me here.'
Closing quote


Looking at this, as well as every other grumpy picture of Luke Skywalker that we've seen in the past few months, it's easy to see why Mark Hamill wasn't exactly thrilled when he discovered what Rian Johnson had planned for his character at the beginning of filming The Last Jedi. For Hamill, as well as many other Star Wars fans, the conclusion of Luke's arc in Return of the Jedi seemed to point to a brighter future, as Luke rejected the Dark Side and the influences of his deadbeat dad in favor of trying to be a kind, loving person and finding the good that exists in others.

To find out that he then pins all his hopes on his nephew being the new Chosen One and for the galaxy to end up right back where it started, does sap Episode VI of some of its optimism.



What's worse, this strikingly similar backstory behind Luke's self-imposed exile is a big warning sign that suggests The Last Jedi might end up recycling just as many plot points as The Force Awakens. When Episode VII first debuted, fans were so overwhelmed by the lack of Gungans that we were happy to overlook the movie's distinct similarity to A New Hope in terms of structure, characters, and even settings and costume designs. We justified this by arguing that Disney would logically want to get a solid soft reboot of the universe in place, giving everyone the classic Star Wars experience in a modern fashion, in order to kick-start some more innovative stories.

Now, though, with Rogue One having worked so very hard to recreate every single visual aspect of A New Hope, and with The Last Jedi appearing more and more to be a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back, it's looking like Disney's big plan for Lucasfilm might simply for the studio to recreate their greatest hits in an infinite loop. If The Last Jedi is going to give us a Luke that has the same backstory as Obi-Wan, chances are there's not enough new meat on the bones for this to tell the kind of story that longtime fans are looking for.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hits US theaters on December 15th, 2017.
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