Mark Hamill Says Luke Skywalker’s ‘The Last Jedi’ Arc Was “Tough” on Him

Star Wars icon Mark Hamill has expanded on comments he made equating Luke Skywalker's arc to his generation's failure, admitting the direction his character took in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was "tough" on him.

"I had to try and make sense of the scenario, based on my view of the character," Hamill explained to ET Canada at the 44th Annual Saturn Awards.

The farmboy-turned-Jedi "was the most idealistic character, he was the most optimistic character," Hamill said of Skywalker, who in The Last Jedi is reimagined as a bitter recluse who has shunned his responsibilities as a Jedi Master, hiding away on the watery planet of Ahch-To — the most unfindable place in the galaxy.

"I said, you know, even if I did something ghastly like picking the wrong young student, that I would redouble my efforts. I wouldn't just go off to an island for 30 years," Hamill said.

"But that's not my job. I had to do what I can do the best to realize the vision of the writer, in this case Rian Johnson."

Hamill, who famously openly disagreed with the writer-director over Skywalker's trajectory in The Last Jedi, said relating the character's arc to his own generation's failure was the only way this new depiction made sense to him.

"I mean, it was tough on me, because I was sort of old school George Lucas, and you have to make way for the new generation," Hamill said of the Star Wars creator and mastermind, who bowed out of the franchise after selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012.

"So I had to figure out, 'how can I best make this work?' And there's lots of backstory I made up for myself, that wouldn't concern the audience in any way, and that's when I made the analogy of being the Beatles generation, where 'all you need is love,' and in effect, we failed. Because I think the world is much worse now than it was then."

It appears Hamill won't be returning to his most famous role in Star Wars: Episode IX, heading in front of cameras in July, as the 66-year-old actor said in April it was time to "move on" from a galaxy far, far away.

"I haven't really thought about [Episode IX] because there's such a sense of closure, Luke's story is told. What more can I do?" Hamill admitted to Games Radar.

"And you know, 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 [Ford] again. Luke will never see Han again. That's what struck me, that was the first break, we lost a member of the band."

Following the onscreen death of Han Solo and the real-life loss of Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Hamill's onscreen sister Leia, Hamill took Luke's own death as the last straw.

"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," Hamill said. "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."

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Star Wars: Episode IX opens December 20, 2019.