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We all know Luke Skywalker, right? Wide-eyed farmboy turned interplanetary swashbuckler, the new hope that brought the power of the Light Side to that galaxy far, far away? Think again.
New Star Wars movie The Last Jedi is set to bring us a very different take on the iconic hero – one that disturbed star Mark Hamill when he first read the film’s screenplay.
“As you know from the trailer, Luke says it’s time for the Jedi to end,” he says, speaking exclusively to SFX. “When I read it I went ‘What?’. He was always the most optimistic character, who believed with all his heart and soul in what Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi taught him.
“I said ‘What could have happened in that gap that would make him to be this cynical hermit who wants to end the Jedi?’”
Hamill reveals that he had to trust in the Force of director Rian Johnson. “It was very troubling for me, but I came to realise that Rian wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before.
”If I was the same person from Jedi without the trauma, I would be just another version of Obi-Wan, and we’ve already seen that. And since it’s not my story anymore, now it’s Rey’s story, I think you can be more flexible in terms of how the supporting characters like myself are handled.”
So how does it feel to find the fate of the character you’ve played for 40 years in new hands?
“You can’t help but feel a little ownership even though I didn’t create it,” Hamill says. “Then you think ‘These young punks think they know Luke better than me!’ But this is the first generation of filmmakers who were fans, who were kids when the movies first came out, and now they’re reinterpreting them for a new generation.”