Though Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) was reintroduced at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi is truly the moment fans have been waiting for when it comes to the character. For the first time since Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, the world will find out what’s become of Luke.
What they’re less likely to find out, though, is what Luke has been up to since the events of Return of the Jedi. While small hints were given in The Force Awakens, the next movie in the franchise won’t explore it much either.
In an interview with Disney Insider, Hamill says coming up with what happened to Luke in the years that followed Return of the Jedi was difficult. “The biggest challenge for me was actually in the time between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to know what had happened to Luke during those years,” he says. “I had to glean decades of backstory from the script. And some of it I had to make up for myself. I had to know what he went through during that time.”
However, according to the actor, what he came up with doesn’t need to be addressed. “It’s not important to the storyline for this film,” he explains. “But I did discuss some of my thoughts with [writer/director] Rian Johnson to make sure I wasn’t coming up with anything in my personal backstory that would affect Luke’s portrayal in this film.”
Given how the creative minds behind Star Wars are already looking beyond the ninth installment of the saga, perhaps it’s a good choice to not dwell on Luke’s past. As he explains to Disney Insider, “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.”
Losing his nephew Ben, otherwise known as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), to the dark side would no doubt be a massive blow to everything Luke believes in. The question is whether he can still regain not only his faith in the Force, but faith in himself.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters on December 15.