Star Wars: The Last Jedi director explains why Luke is hiding out: “he’s not just scared”

Much to think over, Rian Johnson gives us

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The conclusion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens saw Mark Hamill return as Luke Skywalker for the first time in 32 years, coming face-to-face with Rey in a moment as powerful as it was perplexing. It left fans with one major question: why is Luke hiding out on a remote island planet?

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Now The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson has explained why Luke stayed on water planet Ach-To (Get it? As in Act Two of the new trilogy) instead of chilling with a martini on Coruscant or enjoying a game of Dejarik on Canto Bight. 

“The very first step in the writing of this was figuring out why he’s on that island,” Johnson said in an interview with EW. “We know that he is not a coward. He’s not just hiding because he’s scared. 

“But we also know that he must know his friends are in danger. He must know the galaxy needs him. And he’s sitting on this island in the middle of nowhere. There had to be an answer. It had to be something where Luke Skywalker believes he’s doing the right thing – and the process of figuring out what that is and unpacking it is the journey for Rey.”

Hamill added: “[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, and he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that.

“That’s the primary obstacle he has 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.

“I think he probably looks out on the horizon and wishes that he could be more effective, could be what Obi-Wan wanted him to be, but life is imperfect and without conflict there is no drama. Believe me, you’re going to see a lot of conflict in The Last Jedi. That is for sure.”

That conflict may well involve Daisy Ridley’s Rey. Also speaking to EW, the actor revealed her character’s thought process soon after meeting Skywalker: “’Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’”

But what about Finn? What will the resistance fighter be up to in the second film of the trilogy? “Everyone in the space, throughout the galaxy, would have heard about the young Jedi who discovered her powers and defeated Kylo Ren and the young former Stormtrooper who helped save the day,” Boyega said. “He’s a hero to people like Rose, who fight for the Resistance because their homes have been destroyed by the First Order.” 

‘Rose’? Played by Kelly Marie Tran, she’s one of the newbies in The Last Jedi, a character who she says is immediately drawn to Finn. “Finn’s super cool. Even though [Rose] is good at what she does, she’s not known,” Tran told EW.

“She’s not cool. She’s this nobody, this background player, which is what makes her interesting. She’s not the best. She’s not royalty. She’s someone who is just like everyone else.”

However, she won’t be a background player in our galaxy for much longer: we’ve now got under 130 days until The Last Jedi flies into cinemas.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released 15th December 2017