The Luke Skywalker we meet at the beginning of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is quite different from the one we last met at the end of “Return of the Jedi”. In the three-decade span between the trilogies, Luke has shut himself off from the galaxy and has no interest in helping the Resistance due to his lack of faith in the ways of the Jedi.
He’s a grump, bitter and defeated with regrets a mile long over failures in his past. That’s a bold decision for a character, making what was an iconic hero into something much more human and flawed – fitting with the themes of the film about perceptions of legacy and deconstructions of the very myths the series was built on.
In the complaints against the film online, its treatment of Luke is one that comes up a lot and it turns out the actor who plays him – the one and only Mark Hamill – feels the same way. He tells Youtube channel Jar Jar Abrams:
“I said to Rian, ‘Jedi’s don’t give up.’ I mean, even if he had a problem, he would maybe take a year to try and regroup. But if he made a mistake, he would try and right that wrong. So, right there we had a fundamental difference, but it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story – and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective.
…That’s the crux of my problem. Luke would never say that. I’m sorry. Well, in this version, see I’m talking about the George Lucas Star Wars. This is the next generation of Star Wars, so I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well.
But listen, I still haven’t accepted it completely. But it’s only a movie. I hope people like it. I hope they don’t get upset, and I came to really believe that Rian was the exact man that they need for this job.”
You can see his answer in the video below. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is now in cinemas.