Following up on the original trilogy of iconic Star War movies was always going to be a challenge. For Mark Hamill, donning Luke Skywalker's Jedi robes once again was a task tinged with anxiety. Already infamous for making fun of his lack of lines in The Force Awakens, Hamill has also spoken out several times about his issues with Luke's role in The Last Jedi. In a new interview with the Associated Press, Hamill explains why he had trouble accepting this new, "darker" and jaded version of Luke — and how sad he is that he will not get a "proper reunion" with Carrie Fisher's Leia.
Beyond The Story's End
Coming back to the role of Luke Skywalker was jarring for Hamill, and not just because of how the character has changed. Even continuing the story was uncomfortable for the actor, because the original #StarWars trilogy clearly "had a beginning, middle, and end." However, since work began on the sequel trilogy, Hamill has relished the opportunity to tell more of the story — Hamill uses the allegory of James Bond to explain why the sequels are needed because otherwise "it would be like telling the story of how Bond became 007, and the story ends."
So how does the saga continue? A lot of The Last Jedi's plot hinges on Luke, who has changed even "more than the other characters in the original trilogy." And for Hamill, that presented a dilemma, because the script does not explain how this happened:
"I was saying to Rian Johnson: I need to know my backstory. It was kind of unclear. You read where he is now and what he's doing now and sort of have to fill in the blanks for yourself. So I did do a backstory myself. It's not about Luke anymore, so it's not really important. But I had to make sense of it for myself. What Rian came up with, I was stunned."
Entertainment Weekly already revealed that, no matter how many burning questions the fans have, we won't discover Luke's backstory in The Last Jedi. After all, he's not the hero of this saga any more: that torch has been passed to Rey. It's fascinating to learn that Hamill has his own theory of Luke's backstory, and hopefully he'll allude to that in his performance, even if the script leaves that part of Luke's life shrouded in mystery.
No 'Proper Reunion' With Leia
Talk soon turned to Hamill's original trilogy co-stars, Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher. Thanks to Han Solo's death in #TheForceAwakens, a reunion between the dashing smuggler and his Jedi pal will never happen — yet fans are desperately hoping that Leia and Luke will have some scenes together in The Last Jedi, as tragically that's no longer possible for #StarWars9.
Speaking about Fisher's passing, Hamill seems to suggest that these hopes are in vain, and that Luke and Leia will not cross paths in The Last Jedi:
"She was irreplaceable. There can never be a proper reunion anymore. It's tragic. I hate that it adds an air of melancholy to the film because it doesn't deserve it. I know for a fact she would obviously want us to be having fun. She was all about laughter and enjoying the moment. We're all sort of having this communal period of grief. In a way, it sort of reflects the movies themselves, which were about triumphs and tragedies. They are about a family — a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless."
Yet, all hope is not lost — it's difficult to determine whether Hamill is specifically saying that there will be no Luke and Leia reunion, or whether he means that there can be no "proper reunion" between the entire original trio: Luke, Leia, and Han, too. The shadow of Han Solo's death will hang heavy over The Last Jedi, which could be the "air of melancholy" that Hamill is referring to. Or, he could be alluding to the real-life tragedy that was the loss of Carrie Fisher, meaning that Luke and Leia will never get their reunion scene.
For a while it certainly seemed as though the two actors filmed scenes together, thanks to comments from Boyega, the sizzle reel revealing Hamill and Fisher relaxing on set together, and a shot of Leia on what appears to be Ahch-To. Yet, it's very difficult to tell for sure. However it all plays out, Fisher's legacy will still be felt in her final performance as Leia, and in the many, many people she's inspired over the years.
Tell us in the comments: What do you hope to see in The Last Jedi?
(Source: The Associated Press via ABC News)