Mark Hamill - Star Wars The Last Jedi Disagreement

Movies can change drastically over the course of production. And in a series like Star Wars, where the directors are replaced movie to movie, there will inevitably be some ideas left on the cutting room floor. One of those ideas is the original ending for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Mark Hamill has revealed the original ending for The Force Awakens, which could have changed the entire course of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Last year, the actor revealed that the ending was changed at the last minute, but the nature of what changed has been veiled in mystery. But now, it seems he’s been given the go-ahead to say exactly what that was, or at least, Disney is not watching him as hawkishly anymore.

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.

Sometimes the Force is really just about moving rocks.

In an interview with a Chinese-language outlet (via Digital Spy), Hamill elaborated on the mysterious The Force Awakens original ending, describing Luke Skywalker and Rey’s first meeting on Ahch-To:

“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’.”

What’s fascinating about this is that this version of the ending was suggested by Johnson, implying that his original vision of The Last Jedi showed a wildly different arc for Luke. In Luke’s self-imposed exile in The Last Jedi, he’s cut himself off from the Force in a guilt-ridden attempt to end the Jedi line. It’s the reason he can’t sense Han’s death in The Force Awakens or catch on to Rey and Kylo’s Force connection while she’s on Ahch-To. I’m curious as to what Johnson originally envisioned for Luke in The Last Jedi, but having Luke cut himself off from the Force seems like it was the best course of action. How else to explain his inaction when his best friend gets killed on the other side of the galaxy, or willing avoidance of the war that his sister is fighting? And it leads to the best arc of The Last Jedi, in which a weak, fallible former hero struggles with his hubris before he ultimately finds hope in Rey.

Hamill has been public about his creative disagreements with Johnson over Luke’s arc and characterization in Last Jedi — which has helped to spur some of the more harebrained online backlash against the movie — but has apologized for “voicing my doubts & insecurities in public” before praising Last Jedi has an “all-time great” movie. But here, it doesn’t seem like Hamill is criticizing the altered ending so much as describing the circumstances.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently in theaters.

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