SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #1 by Gary Whitta and Michael Walsh, on sale now.
The eighth chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, is undeniably one of most polarizing films in the franchise’s 41-year history. As its critic score on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes continued to rise upon its theatrical release, the audience score rapidly veered south. Even today, many advocates of the film will only speak of it in hushed tones, lest they be chastised by the Star Wars fan community for supporting writer/director Rian Johnson’s work.
Complaints about The Last Jedi ranged from the film’s apparent refusal to address the mysteries set up in The Force Awakens to the unnecessary and overdrawn Canto Bight sequence, but perhaps the biggest point of contention among hardcore fans was the characterization of franchise veteran Mark Hamill’s aging Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker. In fact, even Hamill himself has made it a point to voice his concerns with Johnson’s creative decisions in relation to his character.
However, in Marvel’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #1, Gary Whitta and Michael Walsh take full advantage of the comic book medium by expanding on Luke’s character arc and giving him a heartfelt moment that – until now – was merely relegated to the Blu-ray’s deleted scenes: Mourning the death of his close friend Han Solo.
Much like in the film, we see Rey arrive on Ahch-To and attempt to convince Luke to help the struggling Resistance in their ongoing battle against the First Order. Luke, of course, decides to instead retreat to his hut after nonchalantly tossing aside the lightsaber Rey brought him. She knocks on the door, but when Luke tells her to go away, Chewbacca takes matters into his own hands and busts it down, much to the Jedi’s surprise.
Naturally, seeing Chewie and subsequently hearing Rey mention the Millennium Falcon piques Luke’s curiosity. “The Falcon?” he asks. “Wait… where’s Han?” Unlike the film, though, we’re not simply left to fill in the blanks on Luke’s behalf.
“He was killed,” Rey explains. “Murdered. By Kylo Ren.”
Realizing he would have known his dear friend’s fate had he not shut himself off from the Force, Luke clenches his fist and the belongings in his hut begin to levitate. Before he can cause any damage, though, Chewie pats Luke on the shoulder and then embraces him so they can share their grief.
“It’s all right, Chewie,” Luke says to the Wookiee. “It’s all right.”
Again, the aforementioned deleted scene, in which we see Luke begin to tear up after learning of Han’s death, does alleviate some fans’ concerns with Hamill’s character in the film, as the subsequent shot of Carrie Fisher’s Leia implies the two original trilogy mainstays are sharing a touching moment. However, seeing Chewie – the closest (and now only) remaining tie to Han Solo – physically embrace Luke to help comfort him does far more to illustrate the strength of the core original trilogy characters’ bond. Plus, let’s face it – Luke and Chewie barely said a word to each other in the actual film.