Nothing soothes the eyes of a Star Wars fan more than watching Luke Skywalker be Luke Skywalker. The savior of the Galaxy far, far away is the hero of his own story. Destiny had epic plans for the Skywalker. Luke went on an adventure to become the greatest warrior the universe has ever seen.
He helped stop the Galactic Empire and its tyranny. He single-handedly destroyed the greatest weapon ever made in the History of Mankind. He defeated the Greatest Warrior the Galaxy had ever seen. Bottom-line: Luke is cool….and a badass. There is no denying that statement.
So when Rian Johnson desecrated that notion with him The Last Jedi trilogy, it was only natural that the Star Wars half a century old fan base cried foul. Luke is literally worshipped by the Star Wars fans.
Why his legacy was stained by mediocre storytelling and unnecessary plot elements that only tarnished his own image among his worshippers.
The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens have already rocked the Box Office. People loved that Star Wars is back in business.
But they hated how their beloved franchise’s tone was let go for a fresher, experimental take on something that was already fine as it is. Why take away something from a movie that was the very reason for its success? In many ways, The Last Jedi Trilogy crushed the one thing that made Star Wars Star Wars – it’s very soul.
But if you think the Last Jedi trilogy movies were doomed to heavy criticism from the very beginning, you are dead wrong. The Last Jedi trilogy began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and is about to conclude with Star Wars: Episode IX.
While the first movie only shows us a glimpse of Luke Skywalker, the second installment shows how unsavory Luke’s tryst with the Force has become from him. Luke now blames the Jedi Order for all of the Galaxy’s failures and his own personal setbacks and has turned his back on the Force, forever shunning himself from using it.
The Luke we know and revere do not kneel down in the face of a setback. He perseveres and brings the house down if that’s what it takes to succeed. The Last Jedi trilogy completely changed his personality. He is now a pessimist, filled with remorse and regret and is no more a Force user.
All three things are the polar opposite of Luke Skywalker. While it may seem that the movies have already shown Luke in a different light and nothing else could have been done about it, we beg to differ. Luke could have been portrayed in a much different and welcoming light if the writers were willing enough.
In the Original Ending for the Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker was still a Force User.
How do we know that? Mark Hamill told it himself. The Last Jedi Trilogy introduced us to classic characters from the Original Trilogy and new characters into the Star Wars lore. While Rian Johnson’s trilogy was far from perfect, it had its shining moments.
Hamill portrayed Luke as a conflicted character on a self-imposed exile. While fans loved the inner conflict within their beloved hero, they hated that Luke has decided to step back and cut off his connection with the force. But in the original script, that was not always the case.
Luke was still conflicted, but he still had his force powers. In all the interviews leading up to the release of the film, Mark Hamill struck a nervous tone with his fanbase who were concerned about him turning to the dark side, thankfully that did not happen, but this is what he said about his character arc since Force Awakens:
“In ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ Luke has lost confidence in his ability to make good choices. It haunts him to the core. But he hasn’t gone to the dark side. This isn’t an evil version of him. But it’s still an incarnation of the character I never expected. It has pulled me out of my comfort zone. It’s a real challenge.”
Instead of showing Luke to be championing the cause of Force, he was hesitant to tap it or allow Rey to go all the way. The rationale that makers gave was that Luke has not entirely given up his mission to restore order, balance or fight evil, he has a new way of going about it. It has been eloquently put in Ken Liu’s novel ‘The Legend of Luke Skywalker’.
“There are more ways to serve good than by fighting and confronting evil. You also serve the good by standing guard and maintaining pools of tranquility and peace; you also rebuke evil by showing that there is another way than death and violence. We are all connected through the Force, and there’s a time and place to rest, as well as a time and place to act.”
Mark Hamill, in an interview with Mtime, claimed that there was an alternative ending:
“When we were doing [The Force Awakens], Rian said, ‘Oh and 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.”
Though Hamill was quick to point out the plot holes if this version of the ending was released:
“When I read [The Last Jedi] before 7 came out, I said ‘what?” and called J.J. or Rian to say, ‘Are you guys aware of this? Have you seen a cut? Is there floating boulders?’ And they said, ‘No, we caught that and we worked it all out’.”
Luke turning his back on the Force is a major arc in The Last Jedi. While fans stay divided on Luke’s rejection of the one thing that makes him the legend he is today, the ending could have had several as of yet uncertain consequences on the overall arc. Perhaps, that was the reason this version of the ending was scrapped.
Hopefully, in the last installment of the trilogy, Luke’s fans will find some redemption as his character arc in ‘The Last Ledi’ was unlike anyone but Luke. He was not the greatest Jedi we always knew. The good news is that J.J. Abrams is coming back to direct the conclusive part along with Chris Terrio who is working on a screenplay.
He has assured fans that it will be a spectacle, something they have never seen before. He will draw inspiration from the original trilogy, prequels and introduce new elements which will pleasantly surprise the fans. Here’s what he said:
“Well, it’s certainly something that I’m aware of now working on Episode IX – coming back into this world after having done Episode VII. I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were. And at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven’t gone, and that’s sort of our responsibility.”
It will be a milestone if Abrams can tie all the three trilogies and give this franchise an epic conclusion.