Months before Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out and made a cool billion, Mark Hamill publicly criticized writer Rian Johnson’s direction for Luke Skywalker, saying, “I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character.” He later added, “He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well, but listen, I still haven’t accepted it completely.” Hamill eventually apologized for his comments (“I regret voicing my doubts & insecurities in public”) and complimented The Last Jedi (“Rian Johnson made an all-time GREAT one!”), but he wasn’t the only member of the cast to initially have creative issues with Johnson’s script.
“Well I, like Mark, had some reservations about the script,” Daisy Ridley explained during a recent BAFTA Q&A. “I thought, ‘Where is John [Boyega]? He’s away from me, and I don’t want to be away from him.’ Getting into something like this is pretty overwhelming, and John was my guy the whole way through filming and press stuff, and it was scary. It was really scary thinking about the next chapter with us apart. And I expressed that to Rian.”
Rey and Finn don’t share a scene in The Last Jedi until the final moments of the film (it’s also when she introduces herself to Poe, which is like if Leia didn’t meet Han until the end of The Empire Strikes Back). But Ridley came around to Johnson’s thinking after a “couple weeks to rehearse and we talked everything through. And, obviously, it’s an ongoing conversation as we went. But I found it quite difficult, I remember saying to Rian I felt much more neurotic this time.” Johnson took Ridley and Hamill (and viewers) out of their predictable-Star Wars comfort zones, and it led to career-best performances. (Which is impressive, considering Hamill was in Corvette Summer.)