Caution before proceeding. This piece has spoilers for the latest Star Wars film. Star Wars The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive films in recent times… well, if you think internet is a good representative of the franchise’s fans. While the film is undeniably a superbly reviewed film and is already approaching Justice League’s earnings (which was far costlier to produce), its audience score on Rotten Tomatoes suggests a miserable score of 53% which is really shocking considering moviegoers are still coming in droves to see it.
One of the most contentious points over which some (I say some, because I do not consider angry internet fans, trolls or otherwise representative of the fandom at large) fans are furious at Rian Johnson, the director of the film, is Luke Skywalker’s arc. If you have seen the film, you know that Luke Skywalker dies at the end. Before that also he acts as if he would rather be dead than alive. He is a cynic and says horrible (to fanatics) things like “Jedi are gone” and “The Jedi were nothing special” or something to that effect. This sharp departure clearly has not pleased fans. This focus on the future and cutting of ties with the past. And turns out, Mark Hamill agrees.
In an interview uploaded by Jar Jar Abrams, Hamill says, “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,” he added.
It is commendable that even after disagreeing with Johnson’s vision, Hamill did the job and did it well. That’s what a true professional looks like.