Director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was an incredibly divisive film when it released, even for the actors involved. Speaking of his time on set, Johnson recalled discussing Luke Skywalker with actor Mark Hamill, and how tough it was.
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In a recent interview with The Direct, Johnson spoke about the film’s handling of Luke Skywalker, which was one of the most controversial aspects of the film. Instead of portraying the character as a standard hero, The Last Jedi instead showed a more broken version of Luke, who was still grappling with his failures to Kylo Ren and his disillusionment with the Force and the Jedi altogether.
Johnson was asked about his time with Hamill together on set, and said that despite any “arguments” the two might have had, he still took everything that Hamill said into consideration, no matter how terrifying it might have been.
“If Mark Hamill is talking to me about Luke Skywalker, I’m [going to] listen to him,” recalled Johnson. “And I [got to] think about that and argue with him and go back and forth, and genuinely plumb the depths of my soul and what I wrote and figure out if this seems right. Also, though, remembering that, obviously, he created the character on screen, but he’s Mark Hamill. He’s not literally Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker lives as a creation on that screen. He’s a myth, and as such, he only really lives in the minds of people who listen to and in various ways believe that myth. And I know that was me. So, it’s complicated. But I mean, the short answer to your question is it was f—ing terrifying.”
Despite the two disagreeing with the vision for the character — Mark Hamill has spoken up previously about not fully loving the decisions Johnson made in the film — the actor was a professional through and through, with Johnson noting that Hamill understood the vision he was trying to accomplish and committing to delivering the best version of that.
“For all the back and forth, on day one of shooting, Mark said, ‘Okay, this is the vision that you’re going for, and I’m going to do the best version of that I possibly can.’”
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Despite the divisive reception to The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson still remains committed to the Star Wars universe. The director’s planned trilogy, which was originally announced back in November 2017, is still in development, although has no concrete timeframe or information on when that might land, due to the director’s busy schedule and the upcoming slate of Star Wars content planned.