The newest entry of the most popular movie franchise in the world will be a bittersweet one for Star Wars fans, as The Last Jedi marks both the return of Mark Hamill in a starring role and the final film performance of the late Carrie Fisher. In a Rolling Stone cover story, Hamill and director Rian Johnson revisit their friendships with Fisher, and celebrate Luke Skywalker’s big comeback 34 years after Return of the Jedi.
For Hamill, The Last Jedi allowed him to reconnect with Fisher after having spent many decades in infrequent contact. “There was a comfort level that she had with me, that I wasn’t out to get anything or trying to hustle her in any way. I was the same person that I was when when she knew me [during the first Star Wars trilogy],” Hamill told Rolling Stone. Hamill called her performance in the new movie “wonderful” and said that promoting the movie has brought back the melancholy of her death.
Johnson expressed gratitude that he was able to work with and befriend Fisher in her final years. “You got to experience a little bit of that magical sphere that she created,” Johnson said to Rolling Stone. Fisher’s performance had been shot entirely before her death, so Leia’s storyline appears in the movie as originally written.
Hamill and Johnson teased that the Luke Skywalker of The Last Jedi will be a much more sorrowful character than the light hearted protagonist of the original trilogy. In order to access the character’s newfound darkness, Hamill imagined Luke as a disillusioned hippie, someone who saw the “peace and love” movement fail. And although he refuses to think about the enormity of the Star Wars saga, Hamill said of the The Last Jedi, “It’s a culmination of my career.”
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