For two years fans agonized over how that first meeting between Luke Skywalker and Rey would play out since seeing the ending of 2015’s The Force Awakens. Thanks to that moment at the end of the film when Rey first holds Anakin’s old lightsaber out to Luke and he looks down it with a clear sense of sorrow in his eyes, it left us with a melancholic yet hopeful tone. Han Solo had perished, which hurt, but seeing the resolve in our new heroine’s eyes gave us a sense of hope.
Surprisingly, Mark Hamill recently spoke about some drastic changes made to that moment that would have left us feeling a whole lot more excited and would have undoubtedly made for a very different version of The Last Jedi.
While Hamill had previously mentioned that a big change was made to the ending, he hasn’t elaborated on what that was until a recent interview on a Chinese program. In the interview Hamill says,
“When we were doing [The Force Awakens], Rian said, ‘We might have boulders floating to show your Force emanating.’ So I was led to believe that I still had the Force and it was really strong in me. When I read [The Last Jedi] before [The Force Awakens] came out, I said ‘what?!’ and called JJ [Abrams] or Rian [Johnson] to say, ‘Are you guys aware of this? Have you seen a cut? Is there floating boulders?’ And they said, ‘No, we caught that and we worked it all out.'”
Naturally, this wouldn’t have fit with Johnson’s narrative for The Last Jedi where we learn that Luke has cut himself off from the Force and went to Ahch-To to die. That said, it would have been awesome to see Luke showing off his own raw strength in the Force. Not to mention it would have been a nice foreshadow for the moment near the end of The Last Jedi [SPOILERS] — where Rey uses the Force to lift a bunch of boulders to allow what was left of the Resistance to escape Crait.
Interestingly, Hamill also commented on the nature of the productions this time around in comparison to when they made the original trilogy. Hamill explains,
“In the old days there was an overall outline. This one is more like a relay race, where the first guy runs the race hands the torch off…J.J. Now is going to have to take Rian’s story and figure it all out.”
The statement appears to speak volumes about a perceived problem some fans have had with the two new entries to the Skywalker Saga, namely that Lucasfilm didn’t have a clear plan from the get-go. An issue that was only compounded by the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher who was, by all accounts, supposed to play a critical role in the final installment of the trilogy. Though there are those that disagree, it’s impressive that in spite of this apparent lack of an overall plan both Abrams and Johnson delivered fantastic films in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi respectively.
Hopefully, Abrams continues the trend with Episode IX when its released on December 20, 2019.
Images: Disney, Lucasfilm