Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
"I at one point had to say to Rian Johnson, 'I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character'."— Mark Hamill
Luke Skywalker is the staple character of the nine Star Wars films. He is portrayed by Mark Hamill. Ranging from being a newborn at the end of the Prequel Trilogy, to the icon everyone knew in the Original Trilogy, to what is effectively a grumpy old man in the Sequel Trilogy. He was flanderized to death in the Sequel Trilogy.
Why He Should be Renamed to “Jake Skywalker”
Note: This only applies to his character in The Last Jedi
- While the idea of turning one of the most heroic characters in a film franchise into a depressed, pessimistic recluse sounds good on paper, it is horribly executed; Luke Skywalker acts way out of character in The Last Jedi, becoming a grumpy, but cowardly, man that rejects all chances of redeeming himself from those who goad him to.
- This is the main reason Mark Hamill himself criticized his characterization in the film.
- His depiction is comparable to that of a poor man's version of Fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame. Speaking of Thor, at least his depression and cynicism is executed way better than Luke's.
- Him confirming his flawed character as being caused by fear does not help at all, as fear is supposed to be an element of the dark side. This meant that Luke went down a part of the dark side of the Force, the very thing he rejected back in Return of the Jedi.
- When he was handed his lightsaber by Rey, he foolishly threw it right off the cliff, which is a poor attempt at humour.
- He didn't bother remembering his twin sister Leia Organa, his best friends Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2.
- There was a disturbing moment where he was milking an alien just for something to drink, which is another weak attempt at humour, not to mention gross.
- Luke Skywalker was supposed to represent hope, and in fact, A New Hope was referring to Luke Skywalker himself, which is an emotion about showing optimism, positivity, and not giving up even when it seems like it's always lost.
- If there was a reason why Luke was to become this cynical and negative after losing his Jedi Order, there was supposed to be a well-written reason why.
- He dies when his force protection disappears and vanishes at the end with no build-up put into it. And as Han Solo says it best, "That's not how the Force works!"
- He supposedly, out of fear, tried to kill his own nephew, which basically undermines his usual optimistic, fearless demeanor in the original films. Mind you, this was before he became a pessimistic hermit, and at that time he was supposed to do something about Ben's dark side powers emerging from within, rather than go as low as attempting to murder him.
- Luke Skywalker was flanderized to the point that even Mark Hamill himself criticized this take, which spawned the Jake Skywalker meme.
- He never leaves exile, nor bothers to at least reunite with his friends one last time after being lectured by Yoda.
- He basically repeats the mistakes the old Jedi Order had committed, which meant any lessons the Jedi learned are rendered null and void; He let fear consume him to the point of almost killing his own nephew, and that same fear kept him in exile at Arch-To. At, worst, he had to be lectured by Yoda because of his inability to accept his failures.
- He interpreted the history of the Jedi quite wrong; the Jedi were past the height of their power by the time Palpatine rose to power.
- All of the above was done just to prop up Rey, which is just more of the sequels' tendency to sabotage the older characters in favor of the new ones, without discernable reason.
- Mark Hamill put in an outstanding performance.
- His character was finally, albiet slightly restored by the time of The Rise of Skywalker, albeit he now appears as a ghost.
- Although many complain how Luke became so cynical by the time of the sequel trilogy, we should note that thirty years passed between Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi. During this timespan, many things could have happened to Luke and possibly made him lose some of the beliefs he had during the original trilogy. That said, if this is what happened, it would have an intricate explanation why.
- He used to represent hope in the original trilogy along with the TV show, The Mandalorian.
- Even the expanded universe now called Legends did a far better job with the character, despite it's not canon.
- Disappointed long-time fans of the franchise as well as detractors of The Last Jedi have mockingly referred to this particular portrayal of Luke as "Jake Skywalker" after a statement made by Mark Hamill in which he feels this version of Luke is way too different for his liking and says "Maybe he's Jake Skywalker". Since then, the name has been widely used by the Star Wars fandom as a way to express their dislike toward this take on Luke.