John Saavedra

Aug 11, 2017

Mark Hamill reveals why Luke Skywalker went into exile after Return of the Jedi.

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi lie ahead.

One of the major plotlines Star Wars: The Last Jedi will explore is what exactly happened to Luke Skywalker in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. We know that he tried to rebuild the Jedi Order by training a new group of students in the ways of the Force and that it backfired horribly. He’s gone into exile since then and one of his students, his nephew Ben Solo, is now an agent of the dark side. 

According to Mark Hamill, Luke’s exile on Ahch-To, the location of the first Jedi temple, is about more than his failure to create a new Jedi Order. He also believed that Ben was the true chosen one who would bring balance to the Force once and for all. It seems that even after learning what happened to his father, who was also once considered to be the chosen one, Luke chased after the same old prophecy that’s brought plenty of ruin to the galaxy. 

“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character,” Hamill told EW. “And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”

By the time Rey meets up with Luke at the end of The Force Awakens, the old Jedi is a broken man. He even tries to turn away Rey when she asks for his help. 

“‘Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure,” said Daisy Ridley about meeting Luke. “Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.'”

Hamill, in particular, had a hard time reconciling the fact that, after all these years and his journey, Luke wants to end the Jedi.

“When I first read it, my jaw dropped,” Hamill said. “What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”

It remains to be seen how Luke and Rey’s journey will pan out. We’re looking very much forward to seeing for ourselves on December 14th.