Ever since Mark Hamill said he fundamentally disagreed with Rian Johnson’s choices for Luke and the “The Jedi must end” line in the teaser, people have speculated that Luke will go dark. They are wrong. Today we’re going to explore why they are wrong and what Mark and the line really means.
This isn’t the first time we’ve taken on the Luke is dark crowd and nothing has changed. The first thing we have to address is Mark Hamill’s statement that he disagreed with Rian’s choices for Luke. This was made a bigger deal of than it really was because Mark IS Luke Skywalker. Its important remember that Mark once thought Luke would be decked out and aggressive looking for Return of the Jedi, he has ideas that don’t actually always work. However there is one key quote from Mark shines some light on what he meant by disagreeing with Rian’s choices.
“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,”- Mark Hamill via EW
Luke was the new hope, he was the future of the Jedi and he always felt there was hope. By the end of Jedi Luke had his hope and faith in his father rewarded, he knew who his sister was, and that there would be new Jedi and a new chance for the galaxy. The Luke we will see in The Last Jedi no longer has this hope. The specific reason why he lost this hope is multifaceted. The fall of Ben Solo will likely be a part of that, along with the destruction of the academy, and death of the Jedi Luke was training, and there may be more. His own feeling of failure for either ignoring or failing to see what was happening to Ben and the Galaxy certainly tested Luke’s hope. We also know that Luke had been searching for the original Jedi temple before Ben fell to the dark side. This tells us that Luke felt there was something missing–some critical piece of information he needed to know in order to remake the Jedi. Something that the Jedi of the prequel era didn’t know about.
We know he found that temple and has now decided that the Jedi must end, I believe that these two are related. I believe that it also means that the Jedi ending is not related to Ben Solo’s fall–though that is a part of it–but the knowledge that Luke gained is the important factor. Luke has learned of the origins of the Jedi and what they were in the beginning. This no doubt looks much different than the Jedi of the prequels and the generations before that. Between the guilt that Luke no doubt feels and this new knowledge, Luke believes that Ben’s fall and the deaths that have occurred are his fault. If he had prepared himself he would have prevented it, his optimism was his downfall. This doesn’t mean Luke is now using the darkside but instead unsure of himself and if he should train. Luke is the type that would take it on himself and punish himself for the actions of those he trusted.
So if all this true then Luke isn’t dark, he’s defeated. He has turned on himself, he believes the galaxy would be better off without his “help” because his decisions led the galaxy to where it is.