As much of an ire The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson had to a chunk of the Star Wars fanbase, Mark Hamill, the star of the original Star Wars trilogy, revealed that Johnson’s vision was not so much different than creator George Lucas’ intended fate for Luke Skywalker.
In an interview with IGN, Hamill opened up about his conversations with Lucas about his character’s fate following Return of the Jedi.
The following contains major spoilers for the five of you who haven’t still seen The Last Jedi.
“I happen to know that George didn’t kill Luke until the end of [episode nine], after he trained Leia, which is another thread that was never played upon [in The Last Jedi].”
Luke “died” at the conclusion of the film disappearing following his fake fight with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). After showing off his pomp and circumstance and expert dodging ability, Luke was revealed to just be an astral projection while he was concentrating from his remote island, Ahch-To. After buying enough time for the remnants of the Resistance to escape on the Millennium Falcon, Luke disappeared similarly to his former masters, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
So instead of Episode IX as Lucas intended, Luke met fate prematurely in the hands of Johnson. When it comes to Luke’s influence on Leia’s training, nothing was revealed if Luke passed his teaching over to her or had any influence in her being in tuned with the force. The only thing we do know of Leia’s way with the Force is she figured out how to project her body physically through the airless void of space. Since Leia did not have to engage in physical combat against another in both films, we don’t know if she ever bothered with a lightsaber. Whether or not it would be revealed with the repurposed footage from TLJ is used for Episode IX, will just remain a question should J.J. Abrams decide to use it.
Lucas’ idea seem to take inspiration from the former Expanded Universe (rebranded Legends by Disney) where Luke trained Leia to help continue the Jedi legacy. Hamill didn’t reveal when exactly Lucas told him nor is he’s involved in the current incarnation of Episode IX.
“No one’s really talked to me about it,” Hamill said.
Episode IX comes to theaters December 20, 2019.