Mark Hamill says 'he's not my Luke Skywalker' in The Last Jedi
Mark Hamill made it abundantly clear from the start that he didn't agree with the direction writer-director Rian Johnson wanted to take Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and now that the movie is out, we can see what he means.
In an interview posted by YouTube user JarJar Abrams, Hamill opened up about his problems with Johnson's take on Skywalker and the character's defeated mentality at the beginning of the film. "I said to Rian, 'Jedis don't give up.' I mean, even if [Luke] 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."
Hamill said Skywalker is so different in The Last Jedi that he essentially considered Luke to be a completely different character than the one George Lucas created. When asked about one line that Luke says, presumably that "the Jedi must end," Hamill said, "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."
Of course this interview is from before the release of The Last Jedi, and Hamill ended it on a pragmatic and positive note. "It's only a movie," he said. "I hope people like it. I hope they don't get upset. I came to believe that Rian is the exact man that they needed for this job."
However, lots of people did get upset. Although The Last Jedi had the second-biggest opening weekend ever, it has the lowest audience score of any Star Wars film on Rotten Tomatoes with 54 percent and more than 45,000 people have signed an online petition to remove it from the official Star Wars canon. "[The Last Jedi] was a travesty," it reads. "It completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi. It destroyed the very reasons most of us, as fans, liked Star Wars."