Rian Johnson says he is happy with how he handled Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
While promoting the release of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the director goes so far as to say that Luke Skywalker in the film inspires things to come.
“The final images of the movie, to me, are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they’re building it, and they’re him embracing it,” Johnson filled in Empire. “They’re him absolutely defying the notion of, ‘Throw away the past,’ and embracing what actually matters about his myth and what’s going to inspire the next generation. So for me, the process of stripping away is always in the interest of getting to something essential that really matters.”
While Mark Hamill doesn’t agree with what Rian Johnson has to say (more on that below), Johnson also says he is even more proud of the movie than ever before.
“I’m even more proud of it five years on,” he said. “When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball. I think it’s impossible for any of us to approach Star Wars without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with, and how that myth, that story, baked itself into us and affected us,” Johnson explained. “The ultimate intent was not to strip away – the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth. And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”
“He’s not my Luke Skywalker”
Regarding what Mark Hamill had to say, following the release of The Last Jedi, Hamill said he was outraged, shocked, and tricked and how some things that were handled were a big mistake.
“I said to Ryan, I said, ‘Jedi’s 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,” said Hamill. “So right there we had a fundamental difference, but it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story, and Ryan needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective. That’s the crux of my problem.”
Mark Hamill continued, “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 have to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he is Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Ryan wanted me to do because it serves the story well, but listen, I still haven’t accepted it completely. But it’s only a movie. I hope people like it. I hope they don’t get upset, and I came to really believe that Ryan was the exact man that they need for this job.”