A new photo has emerged from the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving fans their first look at actor Mark Hamill as he returns to his iconic role of Jedi master Luke Skywalker.
In the picture, which was published by Star Wars Episode 7 News, Hamill can be seen in full costume as Luke Skywalker, wearing a series of light-colored robes reminiscent of those worn by Ben Kenobi in the first Star Wars. Though Skywalker’s Jedi robes are of a lighter color than Ben’s, the general feel of the costume evokes much of the spirit of Obi-Wan, a concept heightened by Hamill’s “contractually obligated” beard.
— Complex UK (@complex_uk) August 14, 2015
Fans immediately pointed to the light color scheme of the costume, asserting that it may be proof that Luke Skywalker hasn’t gone over to the dark side in the years since the end of Return of the Jedi.
“Note the light color scheme. Now granted, it may be a bit of a visual red herring (there was much talk during pre-production of ROTS about giving Grievous a white cape, to reflect the use of the color white to symbolize death in certain cultures) but perhaps this lays to rest rumors about Luke having lost his way or turned outright evil. It certainly brings to mind the light-side Jedi garb from the old Knights of the Old Republic video game.”
— ScreenCrush (@screencrushnews) August 14, 2015
Though Disney has revealed many of the characters from The Force Awakens to fans, Skywalker has been a notable holdout, as Polygon notes. Even original Star Wars actor Harrison Ford, returning to his role of Han Solo in the new movie, has been present in the film’s trailer and much of its marketing. Fans have only had a chance to see Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in a brief behind-the-scenes clip, as the Inquisitr previously reported, but up until now, all they have seen of Luke is the cybernetic hand resting upon R2-D2 that most viewers assumed belong to the young Skywalker.
— Comic Vine (@ComicVine) August 13, 2015
The costume revealed in the new image of Hamill as Skywalker doesn’t appear to match with that worn by the individual assumed to be Luke in the trailer, leading to much speculation among fans. Polygon was quick to point out, however, that the photo could simply reflect how Luke Skywalker appears in a single scene.
With the lack of information regarding Luke’s place in the new film, speculation has run rampant regarding what role he could possibly play. Director J.J. Abrams has recently revealed that he has “very intentionally” withheld the last names of characters Finn and Rey from fans, and in that context, the fact that we have yet to see Hamill’s character potentially takes on a new meaning.
Fans will no doubt learn more regarding Luke Skywalker’s role in the film over the coming months. Star Wars: The Force Awakens heads into theaters on December 18.
[Photo by Anthony Harvey / Getty Images]