When we last saw Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he was staring at Rey (Daisy Ridley). No words were exchanged as Rey visited him on an island on the planet Ach-To.
That scene left a lot of questions to be answered. Ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi later this year, Hamill, Ridley and writer/director Rian Johnson sat down with Entertainment Weekly for a lengthy interview. Here are a few highlights.
Why is Luke in hiding?
The Last Jedi: Can Rey save Luke Skywalker from his own darkness? https://t.co/9FbujuFDbP— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017
Johnson told EW: “The very first step in the writing of this was figuring out why he’s on that island. 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.
Is Luke super bummed about Kylo Ren?
Yup, big time. In fact, it's Kylo's defection to the Dark Side that really messed Luke up, as he invested a lot of time in training his nephew only to see it all go wasted.
Hamill noted: “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 to 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.”
What are Porgs and how do they fit in?
They live on the planet Ach-To and are described as cute, wide-eyed, penguin-like creatures, inspired by animals that live on the real-life location where the final scene of The Force Awakens was filmed.
Johnson told EW: "If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world. So when I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm.”
What about Finn?
The Last Jedi: With Finn and Rose, a 'big deal' is redeemed by 'a nobody' https://t.co/3G9mUTCdHI— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017
We know that Finn (John Boyega) suffered a painful injury at the conclusion of the previous installment, so his mindset as The Last Jedi begins is not necessarily heroic. Boyega says: "He just wants to get away and not be involved. His intention in the first place was to go to the Outer Rim. He was always brought back [in The Force Awakens], but this is his chance to get away and perhaps find Rey and go off together. He’s trying to do that at first.”
Finn befriends a Resistance mechanic named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), who is initially "starstruck" by him. That spurs Finn onward. Boyega says: "She comes in and basically gives him a depiction of himself that wasn’t necessarily true. It’s now an opportunity for him to be the best he can be. He has to make a decision, and Rose is there to help him make that choice."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will open in theaters on December 15, 2017.