Major STAR WARS 8 Revelations: Mark Hamill 'Struggled' With Luke Wanting To End The Jedi, Rey Will Solve the Mystery of Luke's Exile, Luke Thought Kylo Was The Chosen One and more

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As part of EW’s new cover story, the cast and crew of "The Last Jedi" have teased what fans can expect. Director Rian Johnson's biggest task was to find a backstory as to what happened to Luke after "Return of the Jedi."
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 does admit he was a little bit surprised by how Luke is portrayed in "The Last Jedi":

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.

So, "The Last Jedi" will be Rey trying to convince Luke to make a comeback, and, I guess, Luke will eventually train her. But, Luke, is still haunted by the last mistake he made training Kylo:
[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,” Hamill says. “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.

As for the backstory ..

There’s massive amounts of backstory that is left to your imagination and I couldn’t do my job without figuring out what that was. Since it’s not really important to the main story as a whole a lot of it is just for my own process. I talked with Rian about it and went into this elaborate scenario of what happened to Luke after the end of the Return of the Jedi.