Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
When he first read what becomes of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, apparently Mark Hamill had a bad feeling about it. But the 66-year-old actor decided to go with the flow and reprise his iconic role, delivering what many critics are heralding as the finest performance of his career.
And now in a junket interview that has surfaced online, Hamill admits that he struggled to embrace Rian Johnson's mournful take on the character in which Luke essentially gives up on the Force and becomes a hermit - adamant that such a fate was not what Star Wars mastermind George Lucas had originally envisioned.
I said to Rian, I said, 'Jedi don't give up. I mean even if he 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,'" the Star Wars veteran said. "So right there we had a fundamental difference, but it's not my story anymore. It's somebody else's story, and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective."
Hamill's big beef was that the bitter, cynical man fans see in The Last Jedi who reviles the Jedi order he once was so eager to join was inconsistent with the character he worked so hard to create in the original trilogy.
"That's the crux of my problem," he 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 had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he is Jake Skywalker. He's not my Luke Skywalker."
Jake or not, in the end Hamill gave in begrudgingly to this new incarnation.
"I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well, but listen, I still haven't accepted it completely," he said.
While it's not the Luke he'd been looking for, the Master Jedi did try to offer young padawans not thrilled about the changes some Yoda-like wisdom.
"But it's only a movie," Hamill noted. "I hope people like it. I hope they don't get upset, and I came to really believe that Rian was the exact man that they need for this job."
He's got us convinced.