Luke Skywalker, the hero of the Skywalker saga, returned to the Star Wars universe in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, though only for a brief appearance in the film's final scene. Concept art from the film reveals that Luke almost had a different look than his final form in the movie. Artist Christian Alzmann says Luke had been described as a Col. Kurtz type, referencing Marlon Brandon's character from Apocalypse Now. Luke's tied up hairstyle speaks to the heavy influence of samurai films on the Star Wars franchise. "My first image I made for #starwars: #theforceawakens wakens," Alzmann writes on Instagram. "This was January of 2013. Luke was being described as a Col. Kurtz type hiding from the world in a cave. In the Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens by @philszostaksf."
Hamill returned in a more substantial role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where Luke Skywalker bid farewell to the mortal plane. He returned again as a Force ghost in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. He didn't participate in the climactic final battle again Emperor Palpatine, but a fan did their best to remedy that. For Hamill, he's said that he doesn't expect to ever play Luke Skywalker again.
"Oh, I can't imagine that, no," Hamill said. "I had a beginning, middle, and end. Those films gave me far more than I ever expected when we started out so it's never even occurred to me."
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My first image I made for #starwars: #theforceawakens wakens. This was January of 2013. Luke was being described as a Col. Kurtz type hiding from the world in a cave. In the Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens by @philszostaksf. #conceptart #digitalart #lukeskywalker #jedi
In another interview, he stated, "You have to start disconnecting from it emotionally. The main thing [that shocked me in The Force Awakens] was – Han Solo is killed! I'll never get to work with Harrison again. Luke will never see Han again. That's what struck me, that was the first break, we lost a member of the band," Hamill said in a 2018 interview. "And then what happened with Luke [in The Last Jedi], I said 'Okay, that's the next link' when I was still thinking I'll come back as a Force ghost. And then to lose Carrie in real life, I said 'That's it.' They say you can never go home again, and that for me was the real indication that it's time to move on."
Elsewhere, he said, "My farewell was in Episode IX and it was bittersweet," Hamill said. "I love all those people and I certainly have affection for George and the character he created. I'm full of gratitude for what it has given me and my career but I don't want to be greedy. There are still so many more stories to tell and so many great actors to tell them, they don't need me."
The Star Wars Skywalker saga is streaming now on Disney+.