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Mark Hamill Talks About Luke's Mental State In The Last Jedi

Luke Skywalker finally returned to the big screen with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the character who fans (briefly) saw was a very different man than the one they left at the end of the original trilogy. As it turns out, this change was also hard for the man who plays Luke, Mark Hamill, who says that he was shocked by some of Luke's ominous words revealed in the Last Jedi teaser.

"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," Hamill said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "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."

Hamill talked to Rian Johnson to get a sense of what happened to Luke after the end of Return of the Jedi. Johnson said he had to think hard when crafting the film about how Luke ended up in such a bad place, adding that it was his first step in writing the movie. "We know that he is not a coward," he said. "He's not just hiding because he's scared. But we also know that he must know his friends are in danger. He must know the galaxy needs him. And he's sitting on this island in the middle of nowhere. There had to be an answer. It had to be something where Luke Skywalker believes he's doing the right thing– and the process of figuring out what that is and unpacking it is the journey for Rey."

While Hamill wouldn't reveal the full story, he did give some hints about what may be troubling the former hero, saying that Luke made a big mistake in thinking that his nephew Ben– who would eventually go on to become Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)– was the chosen one. "He is betrayed, with tragic consequences," Hamill said. "Luke feels responsible for that."

"That's the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know?" Hamill continued. "It's that guilt, that feeling that it's his fault, that he didn't detect the darkness in him until it was too late... I think he probably looks out on the horizon and wishes that he could be more effective, could be what Obi-Wan wanted him to be. But life is imperfect and without conflict there is no drama. Believe me, you're going to see a lot of conflict in The Last Jedi. That is for sure." 

The Last Jedi will hit theaters on Dec. 15. For now, see some things only true fans noticed in the first teaser.