Although your mileage on The Last Jedi may vary — I loved it, but I know that those are fighting words on the internet — one of the nearly universally praised aspects of the movie was Mark Hamill’s return as Luke Skywalker. Sure, some complained that he would never have gone into exile after his dealings with Ben Solo (except that running away from their failure is definitely a Jedi thing), but Hamill brought such a convincing world-weariness and anger at himself and the Jedi Order to the role. Luke Skywalker has defined his career for decades, and Hamill still found a way to make the role feel fresh and full of renewed meaning. When Luke’s physical form extinguished (dying feels like the wrong term), some were hoping that we would perhaps see him return as a Force ghost in Episode IX.
Hamill also seemed like he was having the time of his life on the press tour, being universally charming in each interview. However, even the best things must come to an end, and it seems like Hamill is ready for his time with the franchise to really be over. With the passing of Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s exit from the franchise, Hamill feels like it’s time to hang up his lightsaber for good. He told ABC News:
“It really has tarnished my ability to enjoy it to its fullest. You were asking earlier, ‘Are you gonna come back?’ I don’t care anymore, on that level. Because Han Solo is gone, Luke is gone. You just can’t get the band back together the way you wanted it to be, and it shouldn’t be that way. It is what it is. Rather than being sorry that we can’t have more of her, I’m just grateful that we had the time with her that we did.”
It’s impossible to argue with that. Hamill may be done with Star Wars, but he sure went out swinging.