Does Luke join the Dark Side

“It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Star Wars fans practically lost their minds when Luke Skywalker uttered those words in a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and that statement combined with images of the sci-fi icon looking stern and shrouded in shadows on posters have made it clear that the Luke we meet in this movie has experienced some major changes since we saw him in Return of the Jedi.

But does Luke join the Dark Side in The Last Jedi? In a new interview, actor Mark Hamill talks about Luke’s state of mind and sheds some light on how he’s doing when we catch up with him. If you’re looking to avoid spoilers, it might be best to sit this one out.

In the posters for The Last Jedi, Hamill’s Luke Skywalker has often been positioned in ominous locations, looming over the rest of the characters in a way some might perceive as threatening. But is Luke so fundamentally broken that he goes as far as to sink to the Dark Side of the Force?

ComingSoon points us to an interview in Disney Rewards Insider in which Hamill was asked if he would agree with the characterization that Luke Skywalker seems “dark” in the new movie. Here’s Hamill’s response:

“In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke has lost confidence in his ability to make good choices. It haunts him to the core. But he hasn’t gone to the dark side. This isn’t an evil version of him. But it’s still an incarnation of the character I never expected. It has pulled me out of my comfort zone. It’s a real challenge.”

Is that reference to The Force Awakens a typo or a slip of the tongue, or is it a clever way for Hamill to provide a misdirect? Meaning: In The Force Awakens, Luke hasn’t gone to the Dark Side…but maybe he does in The Last Jedi? But I’m choosing to interpret these comments as being in reference to Hamill’s portrayal of the character in The Last Jedi, because A) that’s how the question was posed, and B) we know Hamill originally had some major problems with what writer/director Rian Johnson did with his character, so the parts about him being out of his comfort zone and this being a real challenge make sense in that context.

What do you think? Can we take Hamill at his word at this point, so close to the release of the movie, when secrets are at a premium? Or do you read this as a misdirect and think Luke goes full Dark Side in the upcoming sequel?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters on December 15, 2017.

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