Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson recently sat down for an interview and discussed the dramatic ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Now that the movie is out in theaters, the director and actor are finally able to talk about all of the secrets that they’ve expertly kept for 2 years and it seems like a huge relief, especially for Johnson. Early on in the production, Rian Johnson would, in his own way, address fan theories and speculation, quietly giving cryptic messages that he was not going to deliver a Star Wars movie like we had ever seen or expected. One of the big topics of discussion has been the ending of The Last Jedi and now Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson are breaking their silence. Major SPOILERS for The Last Jedi ahead, so read at your own risk.
Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss The Last Jedi and the emotional ending as well as why Johnson made the decisions that he did. Hamill has publically revealed that he was shocked to learn how Johnson wanted Luke Skywalker to be portrayed in the movie and even admitted to not agreeing with the director’s vision. However, Mark Hamill is now extremely happy with the way that The Last Jedi came out although he wishes that Luke was going to be featured in Episode IX. Hamill had this to say about Luke Skywalker dying at the end of the movie.
“Well, I’m still in denial. I just think he transported somewhere else… The first thing I said was, ‘Can’t you wait and do this in Episode IX?'”
Many hardcore Star Wars fans expected Luke Skywalker to die, but like Mark Hamill, they wish that he would be involved in Star Wars 9, which could still happen, depending on whether or not J.J. Abrams decides to get into Force Ghosts. According to Rian Johnson, the decision was not an easy one to make at all. He describes a creative process where he moved to San Francisco to collaborate with Lucasfilm. He explains.
“I had huge hesitance. I was terrified. It was a growing sense of dread when I realized this was going to make sense in that chapter. It was not like I wrote the script and dropped it on their desk. It was very important to me that I was collaborating with the folks at Lucasfilm from the word go. I moved to San Francisco for a few months and would go in a few times a week to keep them up to date, spewing my ideas out, especially the big ones.”
Rian Johnson made the decision to kill off Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke as a way to concentrate on the new characters. The director had Snoke killed so that the story of Kylo Ren could be open and without compromise. If Snoke was around, how would Kylo Ren grow into the villain he so desperately wants to be? As for Luke Skywalker, Rian Johnson believes that his story arc was more or less complete with 1983’s Return of the Jedi. He had this to say.
“I think the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker concluded in Return of the Jedi. This [trilogy] is the hero’s journey of Rey, and Finn, and Poe. The (ongoing) story of Luke is one that has to play in tandem with that of Rey.”
Luke Skywalker is dead and it’s something that we’re all going to have to come to grips with, as is Snoke. But nothing was decided on a whim. Rian Johnson told a powerful story that stands on its own for the Star Wars franchise and he took some incredible risks. As far as Luke is concerned, there is a high probability that he will return for Episode IX as a Force Ghost to guide Rey further into her journey. And if not, Mark Hamill has offered up his catering skills to be included in whatever way that he can. You can read more about Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill had to say about the ending of The Last Jedi courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.