"It’s not about Luke anymore" – Mark Hamill on his place in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (and why he hesitated about returning)

Mark Hamill may be front and centre of much of the buzz surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi (opens in new tab) but the actor isn’t so sure of Luke Skywalker’s place in the universe anymore; something that stems from an apparent original reluctance to return to the galaxy far, far away in the first place.

“It was scary. I thought, ‘Gee, it was hard to catch lightning in a bottle the first time. I don't know if this is such a wise idea,’” recounted Hamill when talking to The Vancouver Sun (opens in new tab) about being asked to return to the Star Wars franchise. Thankfully, the space dust has settled and he’s focusing on Luke’s upcoming fully-fledged return to Star Wars after his wordless cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (opens in new tab)

Along the way, Hamill came up with a backstory for Luke after being separated for so long with the character, which allowed the Jedi Master to come to the conclusion it’s not all about him: “[I]t's not about us anymore. In this new one, I was saying to Rian Johnson: I need to know my backstory. It was kind of unclear. You read where he is now and what he's doing now and sort of have to fill in the blanks for yourself. So I did do a backstory myself. It's not about Luke anymore, so it's not really important. But I had to make sense of it for myself.”

And make sense of it he did, as Hamill recalls, "Luke changed, I think, more than the other characters in the original trilogy, from callow farm boy to a Jedi in training to finally a Jedi master. What you're talking about is what really fascinated me. Between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens, there's just decades of history that's unknown."

The Star Wars 8 trailer (opens in new tab) certainly has Luke as acting more like Hamill's vision of a well-rounded character who has lived a considerable life than a periphery figure but, as both real-world and fictional events have shown, Star Wars can (and will) move on from the loss of important figures in the mythos. Judging by his words, it sure sounds like Hamill is at peace with leaving his character behind at some point in the near future.

Image: Lucasfilm

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.