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In the months leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, trailers and promotion for the return of Luke Skywalker has been, well, concerning. Interviews with star Mark Hamill do not bode well for the beloved character, and the brief glimpses of the hero in trailers have been depressing as hell. Even Hamill himself has been vocal about his disappointment with the major changes to Luke Skywalker.
"The fact that Luke says, 'I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi to end…' I mean, that's a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films," Mark Hamill told Entertainment Weekly last month. "When I first read it, my jaw dropped. What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That's not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing."
Now, as speculation has been rampant that Luke has indeed turned to the Dark Side, Hamill has clarified in a new interview with Disney Rewards magazine what his character's relationship to the Force is.
"In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke has lost confidence in his ability to make good choices. It haunts him to the core. But he hasn't gone to the dark side," Hamill said. "This isn't an evil version of him. But it's still an incarnation of the character I never expected. It has pulled me out of my comfort zone. It's a real challenge."
I'm sure this line is a great shock to the audience, so you can imagine how I felt! This is a huge change for a character who once represented optimism and hope. It's a radical decision to drop out of everything he's ever believed in. The entire movie is filled with these kinds of jaw-dropping surprises, but you'll just have to see the film itself to discover what they are.
Certainly, this will be a vastly different version of the character we last saw 34 years ago, but this quote should at least put fans at ease until the movie is released next month. At the very least, this type of change does hint that writer and director Rian Johnson is willing to take some risks with the franchise, after many thought J.J. Abrams's The Force Awakens was too much of the same thing. And while this does dispel the notion of an evil Luke Skywalker, there's still the possibility of the Gray Force making an appearance in Episode 8.
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