This is not going to be about whether or not Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a great movie or a sin against all things Star Wars. It’s definitely not going to be about whether the film should get re-made. That just isn’t going to happen and people wasting energy on it could probably make the world a lot better if they re-focused it on to something more constructive. This is just about Mark Hamill. He seems like he’s gotten to a place where he’s made peace with the character he played for over 40 years. It has sounded like he was not happy about Rian Johnson’s decisions for the character in the past. Now we are getting a little better picture as to why that is probably the case.
First, realize that he’s had four decades to write his own headcanon for the way he envisioned his character’s climax. If he’s like most Star Wars fans, that would have given him the picture of Luke Skywalker, Jedi teacher, and nearly omnipotent Force Lord. Add to that, the conversation he had with JJ Abrams during the filming of The Force Awakens. In a new interview, he tells what Abrams’ vision for the character was.
“J.J. said, ‘Oh and by the way I’ll probably put in a couple of floating boulders to show the Force emanating from you, as strong as it is.’ So I’m thinking for VIII, I’m going to have Force Lightning coming out of every orifice of my body. You know, lifting an eyebrow and toppling AT-ATs like dominoes. That would have been fun to be that powerful! Plus, I wouldn’t have to do much. They wouldn’t have to teach me choreography to do lightsaber duels. I’d just have to do this,” Hamill points across the room, “and let the special effects guy do everything.”
Abrams’ take on the character for Episode XIII was pretty much the pinnacle of fanboy wish fulfillment. If that’s what Hamill went in expecting, there’s no wonder that this was his thought pattern on the character he was presented by Rian Johnson.
“There’s just such a huge gap between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens – I had to really contemplate that. I said ‘hey, how did I go from being the most optimistic, positive character to this cranky, suicidal man who wants people to get off his island?’”
“It was a radical change, 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.”