Say It Ain't So, Luke Skywalker
Ever since the announcement of The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams, the cast, and the crew have been very hush-hush about every single detail about the anticipated movie, keeping nearly everything a mystery. It's worked — and in a social media and spoiler-obsessed society, that is a huge accomplishment. All that's truly known is that Rey is a scavenger and a badass, Finn is a Jedi Knight in training (or at least I think he is), there is an awesome looking Storm Trooper named Captain Phasma, and then there's Kylo Ren, a masked baddie with a tri-tipped lightsaber. But if the movie follows the previous ones, Kylo is not gonna be the only bad guy. There have been many rumors circulating that the original Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker, is a villain in The Force Awakens. This could very well be true... but it could also just be a rumor that you should take with a grain of salt.
Luke remains the biggest mystery when it comes to The Force Awakens. He has been absent in all the promotional materials and Mark Hamill has barely done any press for the movie. Fans heard the character's voice and only caught a glimpse of his hand touching R2D2 in one of the first trailers for the movie, but why haven't we seen the world's most adored Jedi Knight? We have the right to know where he is!
By now, it's pretty obvious that Abrams left Luke out of all the promos and trailers for a reason. He clearly doesn't want give too much away, and in an interview on the Howard Stern Show , Abrams said, “I really want to make sure that we’re not ruining the movie for people. I hate when I see a trailer and I feel like I’ve seen the whole movie in an encapsulated form.” That's great to hear, especially since we live in a world of instant gratification where it feels like everything needs to be revealed immediately. There is no mystery anymore, and I appreciate Abrams for trying so hard to keep Star Wars a secret, as frustrating as it may be. Still, so much anticipation can lead to disappointment. Remember what happened when Abrams decided to hide the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness ? Fanboys and fangirls definitely gave him an earful about that mistake.
The fact that Abrams is keeping Luke from plain sight means that he most certainly plays a major role in the movie, and perhaps it'll be one fans won't expect. There are rumors that Luke went to the Dark Side and is Kylo Ren, making Adam Driver a decoy. There is some evidence that can back this theory up. In 2005 on the talk show Dinner For Five, Mark Hamill, J. J. Abrams, Kevin Smith, Stan Lee and Jason Lee were talking about the Star Wars franchise, and Hamill said that he pitched George Lucas for Luke to come back as a hardcore, murderous villain. If it could happen to his father, it could happen to him. Maybe this was a prophecy... or maybe it was all talk. (Go to timestamp 11:50 to hear them talk about it.)
On the flip side of things, Cinemablend has a pretty good theory on how Luke hasn't gone to the Dark Side. They cite an Entertainment Weekly article in which John Boyega talks about how his character, Finn, is trained as a Storm Trooper in the First Order to think Luke Skywalker is public enemy number one. If this is the case, then the question of whether Luke is a villain or not is answered, as if the bad guys are against him, then he is obviously good. The article also points out that Finn is seen handling a lightsaber in the trailers and the movie posters. Luke is the only surviving Jedi from Return of the Jedi, so he has to have been a mentor to Finn. It only makes sense.
Obviously, I hope Luke hasn't gone to the Dark Side. He is one of my favorite movie heroes, and if he does go bad, my childhood would be forever scarred. Still, I know that Abrams has a reason for Luke's ambiguous role in the movie. If he is on the Dark Side, I will have to go through therapy to deal with it. If he remains a loyal Jedi, I will be ecstatic. If he wants to play for both sides? Well, that's great. Whatever happens, I trust the franchise in Abrams's hands. He's my only hope.
For more Star Wars, check out Bustle's Youtube channel:
Images: Lucasfilm; Giphy