If you’re reading this article, we assume you’re a Star Wars fan and have thus seen The Last Jedi so we’ll proceed as such (in other words, spoilers for that movie and The Force Awakens ahead).
Mark Hamill will forever be associated with that iconic hero Luke Skywalker. Alongside Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, Hamill’s Skywalker has been a key character to the new canon of movies but it was expected that all three were going to be phased out.
While Han Solo died in The Force Awakens, we saw Luke pass away at the end of The Last Jedi but as it turns out, this wasn’t what George Lucas (creator of the Star Wars universe and provider of the outline for the current trilogy) originally intended.
In an interview with IGN, Hamill revealed that the story was rewritten following the tragic and untimely death of Carrie Fisher for not just her character but his own.
Explaining that Princess Leia was originally going to be trained to be a Jedi Knight, Hamill said: “I happen to know that George didn't kill Luke until the end of [Episode] IX, after he trained Leia. Which is another thread that was never played upon [in The Last Jedi].”
He continued: “George had an overall arc – if he didn't have all the details, he had sort of an overall feel for where the [sequel trilogy was] going – but this one's more like a relay race. You run and hand the torch off to the next guy, he picks it up and goes."
In relation to Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi, Hamill commented: “Rian didn't write what happens in IX – he was going to hand it off to, originally, Colin Trevorrow and now JJ [Abrams, who also helmed The Force Awakens]. It's an ever-evolving, living, breathing thing. Whoever's on board gets to play with the life-size action figures that we all are.”
As for the chances of Luke returning for Episode IX in some form, such as a Force ghost, it looks unlikely as Hamill admitted: “No-one's really talked to me about it.”