Mark Hamill Sheds A Little Light On What Luke Skywalker’s Been Up To Since RETURN OF THE JEDI

PLUS: A new look at Rey staring down Luke.

As you've probably heard, Entertainment Weekly's in the middle of one of those multi-day/multi-post photo/interview dumps, this one structured around Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In their latest post, they've scored some pull quotes from Mark Hamill about what Luke Skywalker's been up to since Return Of The Jedi and what delivered him to that island at the end of The Force Awakens.

They've also got this new photo, which is pretty sweet.

Johnson says that breaking Luke's backstory was one of the first hurdles he encountered while working on the Last Jedi script:

“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.”

Hamill, meanwhile, says the Luke's still stewing about that whole "training Ben Solo (read: Kylo Ren) to become a Jedi" thing:

“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so 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.”

Elsewhere, Hamill says he was caught off-guard by Luke's turn to the less-than-hopeful side:

“The fact that Luke says, ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films. When I first read it, my jaw dropped. What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”

What, indeed! Guess we'll find out much more when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters this December. In the meantime, head over to EW to read the rest of their Q&A with Hamill (as well as to read some quotes from Daisy Ridley about what Rey has to say about all this).