[SPOILERS] Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson Talk About That Cameo

Posted by December 17, 2017 Comment

There are a bunch of really surprising things about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and one in particular is a cameo that’s a lot of fun. However, it’s also something of a huge spoiler, so it’s time to say that this is a spoiler warning. This is going to get into a major reveal from The Last Jedi, so if you haven’t seen the movie, then now would be a good time to step away. Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson talked about the reveal to Entertainment Weekly.

spoiler Monday Night Raw
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
When Luke decides to burn down the Force tree, he is greeted by a familiar face in the form of a Force ghost: his old master Yoda. Luke hesitates, but Yoda calls down a strike of lightning that destroys the tree and the original Jedi texts (though it is later revealed that Rey actually has them, unbeknownst to Luke). Death has not changed Yoda, though, as he still whacks his student with his cane while teaching him a lesson.

“That’s what I love, still smacking me on the nose, trying to train me like a puppy,” Hamill said at the post-screening Q&A. “Oh ‘young Skywalker.’ Really? This coming from a character who’s 947 years old.”

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Mark Hamill and Yoda

The scene reunited Hamill with Frank Oz, who brought Yoda to life in The Empire Strikes Back. Creature shop supervisor Neal Scanlan used original molds to build a new puppet to help teach our favorite Jedi a final lesson.

“Frank is so gifted, and I’ve been a fan of his for years,” Hamill says. “The thing is, it was just so real to me.”

The moment is important because it shows that even a master still has a lot to learn, and, in the case of Star Wars, teachers can transcend death to teach their students once again.

“Luke is not the sharpest tool in the box,” Hamill said. “Things are right in front of him, and he doesn’t get it. Like when I’m looking for Ben Kenobi and I don’t recognize Alec Guinness for who he is. I shoo Yoda away, ‘Get out of my rations, I’m looking for a great Jedi warrior!’ Those touches are so human.”

When it comes to that final lesson, Johnson realized there was really only figure that would have the impact that he desired.

“That was really it,” the filmmaker said at the Q&A. “When I was thinking about what Luke’s arc is going to be, and realized that someone coming back and kicking his butt would be his final beat on the island, Yoda just made the most sense.”

The only other option was possibly Obi-Wan, but Alec Guinness is no longer with us, and bringing in Ewan McGregor didn’t really make sense within the context.

“If we had brought Ewan in, it would have been fun, but Mark as Luke has never had a relationship with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan,” Johnson said.

However, as EW points out, it could have been where Luke learned how to project a younger version of himself.

“Exactly! There’s some benefit to Force ghost-dom,” Johnson agreed.

Frank Oz
Frank Oz. Editorial credit: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

When it comes to secrets, this was a pretty big one, and keeping that secret fell to producer Ram Bergman. Fans are always looking for hints as to who is going to show up in Star Wars movies, and keeping Yoda a secret that meant keeping Oz’s involvement a secret.

“I had to convince Frank to basically make sure we don’t put his name on the poster, and not to do any press about it,” Bergman said. “I made sure he ate in the office and not publicly in the restaurant when he came to Pinewood [Studios.]”

Hamill, to his credit, found the cloak and dagger side of this all very entertaining.

“We were emailing each other: ‘Meet me in the parking lot and I’ll sneak you up to my hotel room,’” Hamill said with a laugh. “You’re reading these things later and thinking, ‘Eww, that’s kind of creepy. People could take this the wrong way.’”

Oh, the various illicit affairs one must have to be in Star Wars.

Summary: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, and Adam Driver. It’s out now.

(Last Updated December 17, 2017 5:38 pm )

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is a film nerd, a comic nerd, an all around nerd that has a love for female superheroes and independent cinema. When she isn't watching movies Kaitlyn loves fiction writing and watching political satire. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

View All Posts