Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I thought what Rian Johnson did with Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi was badass. He took the most saintly character from the series and basically turned him into Mike Ehrmantraut. He’s cranky and bitter because he basically killed his buddy’s son, and while he’s all like #FuckTheResistance, he’s still being guided by his moral code, like Ehrmantraut was guided entirely by his love for his granddaughter, Kayleigh.
Anyway, I loved it, and my kid loved it, too, but he came out of theater saying, “Oh, man. Dad, that is going to piss off a lot of people!” only he didn’t say “piss off” because he’s 10, but that’s what he said in spirit. I was skeptical, because I’ve seen The Dark Knight, until I got online and saw that the Internet had basically confirmed my son’s hunch. There were some very folks very passionate about the character assassination of Luke Skywalker.
Among them? Maybe a little bit Mark Hamill himself, who ultimately understood why Rian went in the direction he did, but he wasn’t exactly thrilled about it, according to Uproxx:
“I said to Rian: ‘Jedis 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.’ 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. That’s the crux of my problem. 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, but 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. 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 Rian was the exact man that they need for this job.”
Well, people did get upset, but you know what? Rian was the exact right man for the job.