Hope you’re ready to cry! Because YOU WILL CRY reading this: Mark Hamill might not be Luke Skywalker IRL, but he might as well be (this is not the crying part). The actor has played the legendary Jedi since 1977 (!), so he’s had four full decades to really get inside Luke’s mind. Hamill even created a gut-wrenching story for why Luke was alone on the island at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and you’ll want to take a deep breath before you hear it (okay, here comes the crying part).
There’s a dark reason Luke Skywalker was alone on that mysterious island — well, at least in Hamill’s mind.
Hamill decided that between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Luke would have fallen in love, according to Entertainment Weekly. The woman he loved was a widow, and had a child of her own. The Jedi are traditionally “monk-like” and weren’t supposed to have personal relationships, so Hamill believes Luke would have left the order for a time to experience family life.
Unfortunately, devastation soon followed: After leaving the Jedi life, moving away for love and to raise a child, “the child got hold of a lightsaber and accidentally killed himself.” Lightsaber. Violence. At. Home. *sobs*
This tragic Luke backstory would help explain a few things: Why he’s exiled himself, why he’s seemingly abandoned his abilities, and why he needs a reason to be brought back into the Resistance.
The loss of a child by his own lightsaber haunts Luke, per Hamill. He didn’t think the relationship with the child’s mother would survive it. Further, he felt so guilty that a lightsaber was responsible — and combined with the grief of loss, he felt he couldn’t continue as a Jedi. He moved far away to where he couldn’t hurt anyone or be responsible for any more loss.
Going off of all this, Luke was likely still in mourning by the end of The Force Awakens, but Rey’s need to train in The Last Jedi will bring him back to the fold. Is anyone else here crying? No, of course not. There’s just some sand from Tatooine in our eyes.