ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Perhaps the only thing more unsettling than meeting your enemy is coming face-to-face with your hero.
That’s where the Star Wars saga left us at the end of The Force Awakens, with Daisy Ridley’s Rey standing atop a craggy, windswept island, holding out Luke Skywalker’s long-lost family lightsaber to the man she knew only as a legend. But in The Last Jedi, she actually has much further to go to find the warrior who inspired all those old stories.
This isn’t the Luke she’s heard about. It’s not the one we know either.
This is a broken man. One who would have preferred to stay lost. And he feels the same way about that lightsaber.
“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 tells EW as part of our new cover story on the Dec. 15 film.
“When I first read it, my jaw dropped,” the actor says. “What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”
Luke definitely does not give Rey the warm welcome he received when he went in search of Alec Guinness’ Ben Kenobi in 1977’s original Star Wars. She is warned. She is given an explanation. Nevertheless …
“She’s so hopeful to everything,” Ridley says. “And obviously there’s a hint of, ‘What the hell?’”
This rejection hits Rey’s abandonment issues. Hard.
IT’S A SHAME ABOUT REY
As we know, the young scavenger was ditched as a child on the hardscrabble junkyard world of Jakku by unknown parents and left for years to survive on her own. But lately, she has gotten accustomed to making fast friends, like BB-8, Finn, Chewbacca, and General Leia Organa. Even the murderous Kylo Ren became fascinated by her strength and resilience after kidnapping her.
“Regardless of everything else, she’s been welcomed. No one ever really turns away from her,” Ridley says.
That changes when she arrives on Ahch-To.
Luke’s brush-off makes Rey miss the gruff warmth of Han Solo, Ridley says, giving us a peek inside the head of her character: “’Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’”
But Ridley says Rey is also placing huge expectations on Luke. She arrives on the island of Ahch-To, site of a primitive Jedi temple, not to become a hero herself, but to shove Skywalker back into the fight.
“I don’t think one girl, who he doesn’t know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, ‘Oh, s—, yeah, of course I’ll get back into the action,’” Ridley says.
“But does he not know her?” Hamill says in his separate interview.
That’s a question Star Wars fans have been debating for two years. Soon they’ll learn the answer.
A big part of Rey’s future will be uncovering her own past: Who is connected to her? Where did she come from? And why was she cast away?
As she tries to pick up her own pieces, she may find they fit together well with the remnants of Luke Skywalker. Working together, they may become whole again.