Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson has confirmed that the eighth episode of the Skywalker saga will indeed explain the motivations Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) had for his self-imposed exile on Ahch-To.
The Force Awakens revealed to audiences that the franchises beloved hero had vanished from the galaxy after his nephew Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) — formerly known as Ben Solo — destroyed his new Jedi order by killing the Jedi Master’s pupils but other than Han Solo (Harrison Ford) quickly explaining that Luke felt responsible for Ben’s fall to the dark side and disappeared in search of the first Jedi temple, the film left Luke’s disappearance shrouded in mystery.
Luke removing himself from the equation seemed a bit out of character for the hero who would never give up on his family no matter how evil they were, but Johnson has now assured fans that the new film will offer up an explanation for Luke’s exile from the galaxy that makes sense for his character. In a recent chat with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson opened up on how getting inside of the character’s head to understand why Luke went searching for the first Jedi temple was his first priority as he began writing the film:
“Figuring out where his head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie. I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island? That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores.”
When asked about whether or not Luke feeling the galaxy made him a coward, Johnson said the explanation for his exile will do away with that notion:
“I didn’t want it to. There has to be a good reason that makes sense to him — and to some degree makes sense to us.”
Johnson also revealed that he had made a request for the ending of Episode VII. The director himself was in development on The Last Jedi long before The Force Awakens was completed and it turns out BB-8 was originally going to accompany Rey on the next stage of her adventure as she journeyed to Ahch-To in search of Luke. Johnson explained that he asked JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan if they could swap out the ball droid with Luke’s old friend who sat off to the side in low power mode for much of the film:
“Yes … The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance. Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’”
The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran and Andy Serkis.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15, 2017.
You can watch the trailer for The Last Jedi here and stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the future of the Star Wars franchise as we learn it.