Spoilers ahead for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi!
Was the Force with Luke Skywalker or not? That was the question confronting J.J. Abrams while finishing Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and it sounds like that question explains how the ending of the film changed at the last minute.
In a new interview promoting Star Wars: The Last Jedi in China, Mark Hamill finally revealed that mysterious detail that prompted the helmer to change the ending for his 2015 Star Wars reboot: It involved "floating boulders" that Rey sees behind Luke as she hands him his lightsaber on Ahch-To.
According to the actor, when he read the script director Rian Johnson had written for Episode VIII and learned that Luke had forsaken the Force, which would make floating boulders hard to explain away, he alerted Abrams.
"When we were doing [The Force Awakens], Rian said, 'Oh, by the way, we might have a couple of boulders floating to show your Force emanating,' so I was led to believe that I still had the Force and it was really strong in me," Hamill said. "When I read [The Last Jedi] before [The Force Awakens] came out … I called J.J. and Rian and I said, 'Are you guys aware of this? Have you seen a cut? Is there floating boulders?"
"And they said, 'No, no, we caught that and we worked it all out.'"
The Star Wars icon noted that such story issues represented the difference between the original trilogy and the new movies: Whereas creator George Lucas had "an overall outline," the new trilogy "is more like a relay race where the first guy runs the race and hands the torch off, and the same with Rian."
With Abrams handling helming duties for Episode IX, replacing Colin Trevorrow, Hamill added that "J.J. now is going to take Rian's story and figure it all out," whereas the new trilogy Lucasfilm just announced that Johnson dreamed up will be working from a master plan.
Let's hope they use Force Connection to tie it all together.