– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has pretty much solidified its place in the Star Wars hall of fame as perhaps the most divisive and controversial film in the franchise to date. There are probably a handful of big reasons why some fans have turned a cold shoulder to the film, but one big reason has to do with the film’s treatment of Luke Skywalker.

Many argue that Luke would never have cut himself off from the Force, and that he would never have turned his back on his family in friends. Yet, in the film, this is exactly what he does, and even in that final confrontation, it’s still not quite enough to sate fans’ appetite for a legit Skywalker battle. Very publicly, actor Mark Hamill also initially had a problem with the approach of the character.

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“It was a radical change,” the actor told IGN, “but I think sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing […] Although a part of me said to Rian, ‘but you know, a Jedi would never give up’. My concept of the character was that even if I chose the New Hitler thinking he was the New Hope, yeah I’d feel terrible, but I wouldn’t secret myself on an island and then turn off the Force.”

But how did Hamill work to get this aspect of the character across?

“It is tragic. I’m not a method actor, but one of the techniques a method actor will use is to try and use real-life experiences to relate to whatever fictional scenario he’s involved in. The only thing I could think of, given the screenplay that I read, was that I was of the Beatles generation — ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘peace and love’.”

“I thought at that time, when I was a teenager: ‘By the time we get in power, there will be no more war, there will be no racial discrimination, and pot will be legal.’ So I’m one for three. When you think about it, [my generation is] a failure. The world is unquestionably worse now than it was then.”

I know there are plenty of takes as to why this approach was ultimately wrong, but I very much enjoy these comments from Hamill because they feel real. Sure, we may not like how grouchy the character has become, as fans, but to me, it felt like a potentially real approach to someone who worked as hard as he did and yet failed anyway.

What do you think of Hamill’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.