‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: J.J. Abrams and Mark Hamill on the Skywalker You’re Looking For

     November 12, 2015


If you’re asking, “Where’s Luke?” when you look at the poster and final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you’re supposed to. Every other lead character from the original trilogy is a major presence, but Luke (Mark Hamill) is notably absent, and that’s probably because he’s a central part of the plot, which has impressively remained under wraps with only a little over a month to go until the film’s release.

The secrecy regarding Luke hasn’t been lost on director/co-writer J.J. Abrams, and while he obviously wouldn’t tell EW or any other outlet what’s happened to the Jedi, he did detail the importance of Luke’s off-screen character arc. Specifically, he wants to address the question, “Who is Luke Skywalker?” Who is this “Jedi” that led the charge to bring down the Empire? The recent trailer talks about him like he’s a myth, and his legacy means different things to different people.


Image via Mark Hamill

For Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young woman abandoned on the desert planet of Jakku and trying to eke out a living as a scavenger, Abrams puts its this way:

“To someone who is living alone and struggling without a formal education or support system, who knows what that person in the literal middle of nowhere would have ever heard about any of these things, or would ever know, and how much that person would have to infer and piece together on their own,” Abrams says. “So the idea that someone like that would begin to learn that the Jedi were real, and that the Force exists, and that there’s a power in the universe that sounds fanciful but is actually possible, was an incredibly intriguing notion.”

Finn (John Boyega), on the other hand, was raised to be a First Order stormtrooper, and they’re taught something very different about Luke:

“For Finn, he’s been raised from the ashes of the Empire,” says Boyega. “He’s been taught about Luke Skywalker, he knows about his history. For him it’s like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country. It has that effect on him. But in terms of the Force, and the magical stuff that happens, that is the point where Finn kind of questions what is what. What is the Force, what part does Luke Skywalker play in all of this?”


Image via Lucasfilm

And if you needed confirmation, here it is: that blue lightsaber Finn wields in the trailer and on the poster? It’s the same one Luke lost at the battle of Cloud City; the same one that belonged to Anakin and was passed down via Obi-Wan. EW teases “In this film … it’s an important piece of the puzzle that will reveal Luke’s fate and whereabouts.”

So that answers the question of “Who is Luke Skywalker?” to a generation growing up post-Empire, but what about Luke Skywalker the individual? Is he really a villain? Did that Dinner for Five episode predict the movie ten years ago?

Abrams and Hamill won’t say. Perhaps Luke finally has turned to the dark side. Maybe Abrams and Hamill are just picking up a piece of trivia and using it for misdirection. Either way, there are fans who just want to know the answers, and I don’t get these people. If you’re reading every minor piece of information about this film, you’ve probably already got your ticket. If Abrams or Hamill told you what was up with Luke, you’d probably be upset. Go enjoy your ignorance on this one. A new Star Wars movie is only 35 days away.

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