nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

Mark Hamill is still bitter about how The Last Jedi treated Luke as writer/director Johnson apologises

June 28th, 2018 by Marc Comments

So the fallout from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi continues as, once again, Mark Hamill is vocal about his disagreement over how his main character, Luke Skywalker – the core of the Star Wars story – was treated in the latest instalment.

The movie has been out six months and, in that period of time so much has happened.

The fandom, split down the middle over the movie’s love it/hate it nature, is destroying itself. The Star Wars merchandise is littering every shop in – almost literally – the world. Solo: A Star Wars Story has become the first Star Wars movie to lose money. Kathleen Kennedy is rumoured to be leaving and really, it feels like Disney are losing control of our favourite franchise.

And, while many will argue about why exactly all this happened – agenda-driven storytelling, Marvel-esque humour, Rose Tico – it could be put to the jury that the biggest and most polarising event was the treatment of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi.

(Continues after video)

Hamill himself was quite vocal about how he felt about the treatment of Luke in the movie – after spending all of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trying to find Luke, the latest movie turned him into an embittered old hermit who really rubbed the fans – and Hamill – the wrong way.

Now, six months later, Hamill is still saying how much he disagreed with director/writer Ryan Johnson’s take on the Star Wars mythology and Luke himself.

“There’s just such a huge gap between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens – I had to really contemplate that,” Hamill says.

“I said ‘hey, how did I go from being the most optimistic, positive character to this cranky, suicidal man who wants people to get off his island?’ It was a radical change, but I think sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing. Although a part of me said to Rian, ‘but you know, a Jedi would never give up’. My concept of the character was that even if I chose the New Hitler thinking he was the New Hope, yeah I’d feel terrible, but I wouldn’t secret myself on an island and then turn off the Force.”

Like many fans, Hamill expected to see Luke in his full glory as a Jedi – as THE Jedi – but while his feat at the end of the movie was impressive, it left many feeling unfulfilled: “JJ [Abrams, director of The Force Awakens] said, ‘Oh and by the way I’ll probably put in a couple of floating boulders to show the Force emanating from you, as strong as it is.’ So I’m thinking for VIII, I’m going to have Force Lightning coming out of every orifice of my body. You know, lifting an eyebrow and toppling AT-ATs like dominoes. That would have been fun to be that powerful! Plus, I wouldn’t have to do much. They wouldn’t have to teach me choreography to do lightsaber duels. I’d just have to do this, and let the special effects guy do everything.”

The actor goes on, saying that one of the big problems with the movie is that Johnston wrote The Last Jedi as a separate movie, with no overlapping ideas leading from The Force Awakens and into Episode IX. This is why Snoke’s character was never developed, why Rey’s parentage became such a disappointment – there was no overall plan for the story: “Remember, George Lucas had an overall arc [in the original trilogy]. If he didn’t have all the details, he had sort of an overall feel for where the three were going. But this one’s more like a relay race. You run and hand the torch off to the next guy, he picks it up and goes. Rian didn’t write what happens in 9 – he was going to hand it off to, originally, Colin Trevorrow and now JJ Abrams.”

Of course, we reported some time ago that it was widely believed that part of the reason Colin Trevorrow was ejected from directing the next movie was because his story revolved around Luke still being alive (here) and it was something he fought for… to have Skywalker live to the end of the saga! Seems reasonable to us.

On the bright side, director Johnson has taken to Twitter to say that, to him, the movie was what Star Wars’ essence is and also, for the first time (we think) even went so far as to apologise for the movie not reaching everyone’s expectations:

On a quick side note, you may recall earlier this week we reported that there was talk of Ewan McGregor appearing in Episode IX as a (presumably) Force ghost and this got us chatting at FTN HQ and we wondered if perhaps writer and director this time out, JJ Abrams, is planning on pulling the movie back to the story he envisioned when he made The Force Awakens?

How so?

Well, remember when in A New Hope Obi-Wan told Luke that Darth Vader murdered and betrayed his father? And then when Luke finds out in Empire Strikes Back that Vader WAS his father and then when he confronts Obi-Wan about it, Obi-Wan tells him what he told him was true ‘from a certain point of view’? Well… what if Obi-Wan appears as a Force ghost to Rey, ala Yoda in The Last Jedi, and tells her who her parents really are (whoever that may be) or even – gasp! – that he, Obi-Wan, is her father… later remarking that what Kylo-Ren told her was true ‘from a certain point of view’?

Ok, so we’re reaching a little, but the idea of Obi-Wan being Rey’s father is one we’ve covered before (here), so you never know.

What we know is this… JJ Abrams, when he made The Force Awakens, had an idea in his head of where the new trilogy was heading. Directly or indirectly, Johnson seems to have rewritten all that. With Abrams back (presumably) to help pull the trilogy together for a satisfying climax, we can’t help but feel that he may go out of his way to put the story back on the track he began three years ago.

Are we wrong? One day we may find out.

So there you have it, still fanning the flames of the fans’ anger, the debate over The Last Jedi goes on angrily into the night… we have a feeling we’ll be talking about this for a while to come.

Can JJ Abrams put the franchise to rights? Who knows… only time will tell.

See you all in December 2019 for Episode IX.

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….