The Force in our Stars
Will Luke rejoin the Resistance? Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley get talking about the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise -- and there are a few surprises in store
With some of the early reviews indicating that Star Wars: The Last Jedi might be the best film in the franchise since the 1980 installment Empire Strikes Back, it seems that the Force is truly with the former’s director, Rian Johnson. Set immediately after the culminating events of The Force Awakens (the 2015 prequel directed by JJ Abrams), the latest installment sees an eager and confused Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) trying to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill’s iconic character) into rejoining the Resistance, to help defeat the First Order. Daisy and Mark share their thoughts on the film, apart from some nostalgic moments during shooting.
Where do we find Luke, at the start of this new film?
Mark Hamill: It’s a direct continuation of The Force Awakens, so the final moment is the first time you see him in The Last Jedi. It’s very ambiguous. Rey (Daisy Ridley) offers him the lightsaber, and he just stares at her, interminably.
What was it like to walk back into the Millennium Falcon?
MH: It was bittersweet. Every-where you looked, the memories come flooding back. It’s like going to your old high school or the house you lived in in sixth grade. The detail’s absolutely perfect. It’s just as I remember it. I climbed up and down the ladder, got in the hold where we stowed away, and sat in the cockpit with my grown children and wife. Later, I slipped away and got really choked up. This is a moment, and it’ll be gone.
How is The Last Jedi with director Rian Johnson a different experience?
Daisy Ridley: It is a different experience, as energy-wise, Rian and JJ Abrams are different. They are similar in their fan-boy thing, and they both know the universe so well, and being a writer and director, all those similarities are there, but their energy is different. Rian has put the emphasis more on Rey pushing Luke. It opens up the Rey journey. It’s not clear where Rey is going, but in her trying to win over Luke, the development comes.
And what is Rey trying to do?
DR: She’s basically trying to convince Luke to leave with her, and go back to the Resistance. And Luke is totally hard on her. Pretty harsh, actually. But, she persists, and crazy stuff happens.
What is Luke’s relationship with Rey?
MH: It seems to be an obsession for people to want to know what the relationships are, and that’s understandable. So much of the previous stories have to do with lineage: Who’s your father, who’s your surprise sister, who’s your mother? In this, it’s broken down a little bit.
So what do they think of each other and learn from one another?
MH: Rey has based her assessment of Luke on this great mythology that’s been built up. At some point, people doubt he’s a real person. Because of the gravity and urgency of the situation, she doesn’t have the luxury of getting to know him, and relax and exchange ideas. She needs him and wants to enlist his help and abilities towards her cause. And, that’s the conflict. Luke’s in a much different place than we’ve ever seen him in before. He’s disillusioned. He’s turned off the Force and renounced the idea of the Jedi order. It was unexpected for me as an actor. My character always represented hope, and optimism. And now, here I am, pessimistic, disillusioned, and demoralised.
Is it exciting to play someone with all these powers?
DR: Rey doesn’t see herself as this powerful being, and in seeing Luke as that is a reflection of what people see her as. They talk about her potential, and she doesn’t really feel it. But she does start to come around. She tries to move forward and do the right thing, like she has done.