Mark Hamill Is Wrong About Luke Skywalker

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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One thing that The Last Jedi haters often bring up is that even Mark Hamill seemed to hate what the film did to Luke Skywalker. The legendary actor contended that “Jedis don’t give up” and that “even if [Luke] had a problem, he would maybe take a year to try and regroup, but if he made a mistake he would try to right that wrong.” However, the blunt truth is that Hamill is wrong and that Luke Skywalker’s portrayal in The Last Jedi is perfectly consistent with everything we have seen in previous films.

Luke Skywalker Doesn’t Actually Break Character

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For this rebuttal to Mark Hamill’s statement to make any sense, we need to first recap Luke Skywalker’s actions as seen in The Last Jedi. The primary thing the actor seems to hate is that Luke became a hermit after Ben Skywalker recruited a handful of students and murdered the rest. Instead of chasing the young man down, rebuilding the Jedi Temple, or doing anything more proactive, Luke becomes a hermit, hiding from the galaxy until Rey shows up and he begins very reluctantly training her.

Major critics of The Last Jedi usually put Mark Hamill’s words about Luke Skywalker on a pedestal … the ultimate proof that the man behind the franchise’s greatest hero hates what Rian Johnson has done to Star Wars. And we would never begrudge the Hollywood icon for his opinion on his most famous character. But the more you watch Star Wars, the more it seems that Hamill is wrong and that Luke’s reactions are perfectly in character.

Giving Up And Delayed Gratification

As an example, Mark Hamill contends that Jedi “don’t give up,” but The Original Trilogy makes it clear that isn’t the case. Both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda settle into a quiet retirement in the middle of nowhere, a decision that keeps them safe but effectively checks them out of the fight against the Empire. Their actions are belatedly justified because they help to train Luke who then helped defeat the Emperor, but that would apply to his later fate as well.

If Luke hadn’t become a hermit, then he would never have trained Rey, who helped definitively defeat Palpatine.

Luke’s Actions Are Totally Justified

Another reason we disagree with Mark Hamill’s comments about Luke Skywalker is that his character’s criticism of the Jedi is perfectly on point and helps describe and even justify his actions. He points out that even “at the height of their power,” they allowed the meteoric rise of Palpatine to power and the subsequent genocide of the Jedi. That genocide was carried out by Darth Vader, “the most hated man in the galaxy,” one who was found and trained by the Jedi Order.

Luke Skywalker Has Legitimate Concerns

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What Mark Hamill seems to ignore about Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi is that this is a character who is perfectly aware that the “hypocrisy” and the “hubris” of this venerable order have ensured that “the legacy of the Jedi is failure.” They helped create a monster that subsequently killed them and countless others. Luke is understandably worried about creating such a monster himself, something that has seemingly already happened with Kylo Ren.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Flawed

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In short, while Mark Hamill will forever be our childhood hero, we think he’s completely wrong about Luke Skywalker. He most likely wanted his character to be more heroic and less flawed, but Luke’s flawed actions perfectly reflect his character and everything he has learned about the many failures of the Jedi. Perhaps he can take cold comfort from the fact that thanks to creepy CGI cameos on shows like The Mandalorian, Luke will get plenty more of the adventure and excitement that Jedi aren’t supposed to crave.