Rian Johnson recently recalled his initial discussions with Mark Hamill over the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in his Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi.
The Last Jedi has proved controversial amongst Star Wars fans. Some have praised its bold new direction for Luke Skywalker, while others have criticized it for taking a darker turn with the character. Johnson himself recently defended the direction he took the movie.
Now, the director has spoken out about Mark Hamill’s initial reaction to the film’s depiction of Luke Skywalker.
The Myth Of Luke Skywalker
In a recent interview with Empire, Rian Johnson addressed Mark Hamill’s reaction to the script for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
The director said he could “never fathom” what it would be like to play a character such as Luke Skywalker for as long as Mark Hamill has and to have to contend with a different director’s vision for that character thirty years after last appearing as them.
Rian Johnson revealed:
“I’m choosing my words carefully, not to be diplomatic, but I don’t want to frame Mark’s experience of this through my lens because there’s no possible way I can ever put myself in the shoes of Mark, or Carrie [Fisher], having lived their entire lives being known as these characters. And what it’s like to play them first in their twenties, and then to come back and play them in these movies and have a script handed to you saying, ‘Well, it’s this now’… I can never fathom what that experience is like. It’s impossible.
“If Mark Hamill is talking to me about Luke Skywalker, I’m gonna listen to him, and I gotta think about that and argue with him and go back and forth. Genuinely plumb the depths of my soul and what I wrote and figure out if this seems right. Also, though, remembering that, obviously, he created the character on screen, but he’s Mark Hamill, he’s not literally Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker lives as a creation on that screen. He’s a myth. And as such, he only really lives in the minds of people who listen to and in various ways believe that myth. And I know that was me. So, it’s complicated.”
It sounds like a lot of discussion and debate over the film’s depiction of Luke took place on the set of The Last Jedi. While the film has divided Star Wars fans since its release, Rian Johnson clearly put a lot of thought into how he would handle the legacy of a character like Luke and continue the mythology surrounding him.
The next Star Wars project from Lucasfilm will be Andor on Disney Plus. Here’s the synopsis:
“The ‘Andor’ series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.”
Andor stars Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly. Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Stephen Schiff, and Beau Willimon served as the writers of the Star Wars series while Toby Haynes, Susanna White, and Benjamin Caron directed the episodes.
Andor will premiere Disney Plus on September 21, 2022, with three episodes. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the series and the Star Wars franchise, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more great video content!