Annlyel shares her thoughts on the criminal underuse of one of the Star Wars saga’s most cherished characters in the sequel saga…
Mark Hamill has seemed to be pulled through the emotional wringer in the last few years for the reprisal of his iconic role as Luke Skywalker. In The Force Awakens, he appeared in the literal last minute of the film. In The Last Jedi, he was a grumpy hermit who was forced to drink green milk from the teet of something I wouldn’t want to be drinking anything from. And then, in The Rise of Skywalker, he was relegated to basically being nothing more than a cameo and having, I feel, one of the corniest moments in the entire franchise.
See, I LOVED his inclusion at the end of The Force Awakens. It was nothing short of freaking brilliant. The music, the emotion on his and Rey’s faces, the gravity of that moment, it brought many tears to my eyes over the years.
In The Last Jedi, I appreciated Rian Johnson’s take on the character. As someone who was afraid Luke would turn out to be a caricature of Yoda, it was a relief knowing that this wouldn’t be a repeat of The Empire Strikes Back in terms of Rey’s training. It was also sensible because in what possible circumstances would Luke, who was such a hero, hide on a secluded planet? What would have happened to make him make such a drastic decision? Rian Johnson provided us with an answer to that question in a very shocking and imaginative way, leaving me satisfied.
His return to heroism and his sacrifice following such epic events was bittersweet but I was ready for his return in The Rise of Skywalker. A return I figured would be nothing short of epic. How wrong I would be?
In my head, I pictured Luke returning to play a small role in The Rise of Skywalker that would feature the new addition to the Force ghost family doing something appropriately awesome for his time. Mainly, I figured there would be a moment where we could see Skywalker display his grand power. Maybe he would haul down a Star Destroyer or summon lightning like Master, Yoda. But no…
He was forced to give Rey guidance (which I’m perfectly fine with) and lift his X-Wing from the depths of the ocean just like Yoda…which as I expressed earlier in this post, I was mortally afraid of. I didn’t want Luke Skywalker to be the new Yoda. J.J Abrams, however, had other ideas. I have never been so irked with a scene in my life. And was anyone else weirded out about that smile he had on his face? It seemed to feel forced. Or maybe I’ve just gotten so used to seeing Luke not smiling anymore that to see him happy was jarring.
All in all, I love Luke Skywalker. I loved his boyish naivety in A New Hope. I loved his burgeoning comprehension of what it meant to be a Jedi in The Empire Strikes Back. I loved his seriousness in Return of the Jedi. I loved his mysteriousness at the end of The Force Awakens. And I LOVED his hopelessness, his grimness, and his eventual return to grace in The Last Jedi.
The Rise of Skywalker failed to give us the Luke Skywalker that I had grown to love over the years and turned him into a super blue caricature of the hero that still manages to inspire generations of fans to this day.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her own blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!