Discussion: Luke Skywalker in TLJ

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Re: Discussion: Luke Skywalker in TLJ

Post by DeeBee on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 3:16 am

hiya! during the quiet SW times.. it can be good to go back to old podcasts etc. So many came out during the busy activity around TLJ release that I didn't have time to listen to it all! Recently I caught up on the whole collider Q and A with Rian. Awesome!
I'll share some interesting comments Rian made related to the Luke Skywalker arc in TLJ.. [transcription is non-beta'd, I just did my best!]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xW6woTAof0
@57min "Q: I want to know the process of writing Luke’s ending at the end of the film, and also how you brought it up to mark. Obviously it being such a big part of his life, I want to know how he took it, and how he put it into ??
A: Yeah. So, when I realised what Luke’s arc was going to be through this whole notion of .. and that itself was a big long process. It was kind of the first thing I felt I had to figure out was it all stems from one question – what is Luke doing on that island, you know, why is he taking himself out of the fight? There’s got to be a reason I believe in from his perspective from his POV and the reason a feels consistent with who he is. And um.. and so once I kind of landed on that and figured out okay – he thinks he is doing the right thing by taking the jedi out of the equation and then that means he is rejecting that whole notion of the galaxy having this blind hero workshop of the legend of Luke Skywalker. And he thinks if he takes that out of the equation then maybe the light will be able to rise from a more worthy source. And the path in the movie is realising that no, the  galaxy needs that and needs that legend, they need the hope that brings and he needs to step up and be that for everybody. And then once he does that at the end, once he does kind of .. you know.. it’s not about him beating somebody with a lightsaber it‘s not about him winning the fight it’s about him lighting this big beacon of hope that is the legend of Luke Skywalker that people look up to. Once he does that the notion that okay, we’ve now built this huge emotional arc for him this is now the place for him having accomplished this, both in terms of thinking of the most powerful point for him to then chose to pass on, but also looking at I didn’t know what was going to happen in IX at that point, I didn’t even know who was going to be making IX. The notion that him passing the next round.. would actually give more potential for what his role could be in IX, as opposed to him being around and kind of going around with them on the mission. So all of this led up to – oh wow. Okay. So this needs to happen at the end of the movie,…

…. and then with Mark it was a conversation you know, and it was something that very obviously.. I mean no one wants to die, and it was something where it was the beginning of a very long very good series of conversations between me and him. Ahhhh and it was for me it was also a lot of listening and there was a lot of ahhhh it wasn’t me just trying to convince him of you know, of anything, it was me really taking seriously that this guy – yeah obviously this is Mark Hamill this character as been a part of his life for all these years, so it was a lot of listening a lot of talking and it was a long process. It was a really good one, and by the end of it you know, he committed to it and I think the performance that he gives on screen in that scene specifically, I always found it so powerful…"

Also, for anyone wishing to ponder the Luke arc - I re-listened to the Scavenger's Hoard podcast on Luke's arc the other week and I think they have some really interesting insights, and a great exploration of his journey.. I don't agree 100% with everything, but then when does that ever happen? I really enjoyed their insights.. so thought I'd give the episode a shout out: https://soundcloud.com/scavengershoard/episode-57-last-jedi-novelisation-news-spotlight-on-luke-skywalker

@guardienne wrote:@DeeBee
...so, yeah, the bare bones are, luke senses nephew turning evil, decides to do something about it, that goes spectacularly wrong, he goes off in shame and guilt to die. no?...

...i feel like the ST provided me with a chance to experience storytelling in a sort of real time. no one knows what's going to go down, we are all along for the ride. but you need good storytelling to do that, and it doesn't pull me along, it leaves me baffled.

the hallmark of a good story to me isn't whether i know exactly what happened with luke and ben back on that day or a previous day or whatever, it's whether i can follow the beats of the story emotionally. and i think johnson lost me very early on. i needed it more sketched out to be able to go, oh, and be with luke's decision. actually i think it's not a bad ... twist, it's just massively underdeveloped. the movie doesn't really show you how to get there, it just presents you with a result.  
@guardienne

- Hiya and sorry for my delay in replying..
Interesting thoughts on the force - the dark and the light! this has come up in the dark/light/balance thread too..
I'm not going to reply directly to your whole comment. I'll just focus on the partial quote above. Hope that's okay
It's all good, I didn't think you were laying out rules or anything. If Luke's story doesn't resonate with you it doesn't have to discuss, but if you want to explore it more with others that it did resonate with that's cool too.

I think the Rian comments I shared above expand on what were Luke's motivations in TLJ, and can help us understand the emotional beats.
It is true that the story doesn't unfold in a chronological way, for part of the story Luke's story is a mystery.. It did require the audience to trust that the story would eventually unfold and I think we need to see the whole movie to have picked up on some of Luke's story arc as a full picture.
I'd be interested to hear what others think here. I see TLJ starting with by giving us some basics that set the tone of where Luke is at. Luke not welcoming Rey, treating the light saber (and thus his Jedi legacy) with disdain, refusing to leave the island even though the FO has take over pretty much everything, he says he can't stop it. So we have clues to his current state very early on... But, Luke is also a light sider - he is not selfish, he is not a coward. He is changed since the OT events, but he is also at his core still the same man.

I think we learn that fallible Luke screwed up, let his nephew down, his family down, the galaxy down, and himself down - in what took place that night he confronted Kylo/Ben. And he plainly states in the flashback he felt shame about it. Emotionally, I think we find Luke at the start of TLJ pretty much stuck in the same emotions - he hasn't processed it, confronted it or healed - this is his journey in TLJ. You know how a traumatic event can happen that rocks your world and all you believe in, and you get stuck in that moment and can't move past it? I see Luke emotionally as stuck. I love MH's performance.. all that heartache, grief, pain - it's all there in his performance and it's as raw as if it had happened yesterday, even before we actually have any detail of how Luke stuffed up, I think it's there in the performance that he failed in some way... Anyway this is just my take on things..

I think Luke felt shame and guilt about what happened - and this led him to believe the galaxy was being harmed by himself and the continuation of the Jedi. So this led to his decision to wait out the rest of his life in exile. Of course, at the end of TLJ he has realised this is not the case and he made a mistake.. and he acts to rectify that mistake as much as he is able.

I find the idea that Luke thought the light would rise from a more worthy source is pretty interesting! This is not really explained in the movie. We can see hints of it though -I think Snoke's dialogue hints at it, and we see that Luke sees powerful light and powerful darkness are always present.. So if he removed himself out of the galaxy- and he was not present to match Kylo/Ben's darkness - it follows he would know that the force would bring about balance without him. It seems to me Luke learned a lot about the force after ROTJ and before events at the Jedi Academy... though anyone who had only watched the films wouldn't know of this at all..
Still, I don't think it's necessary to know this to have understood Luke's basic arc [would i like it to be in the movies? Yep, but it is not necessary to follow the basic story] - at it's most basic I think Luke's arc is screwing up, shutting down, processing it, healing, forgiving yourself, trying to make amends - and finding hope and purpose again. Yeah I guess that's where the peace and purpose thing comes in.
I think in the end of TLJ, Luke is acting to save what he loves. He thought exile on Ahch-to was the way to save what he loves at first, but then he realises his mistake (he made a mistake trying to fix the original mistake!) and he corrects things - and acts in another way to save those he loves in the finale.

I really love some of the comic/novelisation insights about Luke. Hope you guys don't mind that I share this..  I could be mistaken, but I don't think this has been shared here.. This from the novelisation: [Context: set right after he re-connects himself fully to the force on Ahch-to]
"Luke had shut himself off for so long, and now the Force was roaring around him. Rey was right. She needed him. As did Leia, and the Resistance, and all those desperate for hope. His grief and guilt had left him unable to see that, unable to see anything but darkness and despair. In trying to shield the galaxy from his failure, he had walled himself off from everything—including the prospect of hope.
The Force had sent Rey, of that Luke was now certain. She had arrived bearing the message he had refused to hear. But she was not just the Force’s vessel. To think of her that way was to diminish her. She was also a young woman, powerful with the Force, who needed his help—and who had believed in him even when he gave her no reason to."
(page 180)
I think this is great Luke POV. I love the bolded! In the movie I felt his heartbreak at having been cut off from Leia while cut off from the force. I'm soooo glad we got to see them reunite at the end of TLJ!
Oh my.. look at the time! I got lost in SW! Gotta run, bye! sunny
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DeeBee
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