I regret jumping into the ST arguments into this thread all the time, because this isn’t the ST arguments thread, this is the random ST fanedit ideas thread. But… I have no self control and have to have the last word.
If Luke being a hermit is a given, the reason Rian gave for why is the best possible reason, especially given the context given to him in TFA. I’ve never, ever seen anyone propose an alternative reason they would’ve preferred, period, let alone a better one. And all the other reasons I can think of (Luke’s trapped there, Luke’s hunting/researching something that’ll help him beat Snoke, etc) don’t lead into anything more creatively interesting than “Good guys and bad guys get in a big fight and the good guys win”. For a sequel to something as big as Star Wars, I want something better than that.
Maybe I’m missing something, but again, nobody ever proposes anything they’d have preferred, let alone something actually better than that.
I’ve never seen Luke’s vision as out of character, though. Luke sees a vision of Ben killing all his friends, Leia, Han, and destroying everything he and his friends spent their whole lives working so hard on. And he realizes he could prevent it all from happening incredibly easily, but he knows it’s wrong to do that. Not just because killing some teenager is super fucked up, but because of what he learned with Vader. Anyone can be redeemed and no person’s future is set in stone.
When Ben destroys his temple, he looks back at his own actions and the actions of the prequel-era Jedi, and comes to the conclusion that the Jedi taking too active of a role in the galaxy was harmful. So he chooses to go into exile, because he believes that’s what’s best for the galaxy.
Seems pretty in-character to me. Even for young Luke, and bear in mind, the ST Luke has spend a good majority of his life after Return of the Jedi.
The idea that Luke in TLJ’s character is “He tried to kill Ben in his sleep and then he abandoned all his friends and the galaxy to sulk and be depressed” is, to put it diplomatically… not entirely accurate.
And don’t really think the decision to put Luke on the island in TFA is that big a deal either. I’m a fan of TFA, and looking for Luke Skywalker was a good hook into a new story and new characters. It’s a little safe, but after the prequels and a change in ownership, faith in Lucasfilm was at an all time low from 2012-2015. TFA undeniably won it back, being the most uncontroversially popular thing that’s been put out since the buyout. Except maybe Mando Season 1.
Maybe I’m missing some better big picture story, but most ST rewrites (which take place at the appropriate time for the actors’ ages) just have the OT trio as entirely static characters, who face off against a boring new villain, and do absolutely nothing interesting on the way to victory.
(Which sucks, because I want to get into ST rewrites but most of them are really awful)