In amongst the orgy of euphoria that surrounded the release of the new Star Wars poster for The Force Awakens, there was a nagging voice crying plaintively in the background asking, “Where is Luke Skywalker?”
The frantic and feverish furor, which is building into some sort of unholy and intergalactic climax this December when Star Wars Episode 7 is actually released, was muted for some fanboys and fangirls, who lamented that the poster child of the Jedi movement was mysteriously absent from the Force Awakens poster.
One of the movie’s selling points has long been the return of Luke Skywalker. It has yet to be confirmed in what sort of capacity Darth Vader’s only son will grace the new Star Wars film, but his lack of inclusion on the Force Awakens poster would appear to suggest he either dies early on or has a walk-on cameo at best.
Clearly visible on the Star Wars poster are all the characters who have been leaked to the public so far, such as Daisy Ridley as Rey, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, and John Boyega as Finn.
Favorites who return in the new Star Wars movie also featured on the poster include Hans Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO, but still no Luke — not even a whisper.
To make matters worse, not only does the former Jedi master appear to have been airbrushed out of the Star Wars universe, but a new character called Kylo Ren dominates most of the new Force Awakens poster.
Played in the movie by Adam Driver, Kylo Renn looks like a Sith Lord with a hardcore Vader obsession. Who, exactly he is and what exactly he is will be answered in the Force Awakens, but some Star Wars fans have been speculating on his identity and combined it with the absence of Luke Skywalker from the poster to come up with more earth-shattering theories than the Death Star.
One, in particular, suggests that far from being absent, Luke takes center stage on the new poster because he is, in fact, the man in the mask — Kylo Ren.
Although Luke going over to the Dark Side seems pretty far fetched, it is plausible and would be one hell of a twist.
We know Mark Hammill is in the new movie in some capacity, but in every trailer released to date, we’ve only heard his voice and seen a mysterious figure in a hood and a robotic hand reaching out to R2-D2. Is it Luke or Ren’s hand? Or is it one and the same?
We know that not only is Ren obsessed with Darth Vader, he also has his helmet. A helmet that was last seen in the possession of Skywalker, who burned it religiously on Endor.
Of course. When it comes to this particular theory, the fly in the ointment is the simple fact that Kylo is played by Adam Driver.
Or is he? Is Driver a red flag that J.J. Abrams is flying fiercely to keep the mother of all twists terribly twisted? It’s not like the canny director hasn’t got past form in such deceptions.
When directing Star Trek Into Darkness, Benedict Cumberbatch was called John Harrison in all of the promotional material to prevent people knowing he would appear as Khan in the film.
Abrams never got the wow factor he wanted from the film’s audience because everyone found out that Cumberbatch was playing Khan beforehand. Is the director determined not to make the same mistake twice with Skywalker and Ren in Star Wars?
Has anger finally got the better of Luke and has he been corrupted by the Dark Side? After all, it’s in the blood. Did killing his dad awaken something dormant in Skywalker, which, like his father before him, will lead to his eventual downfall?
It’s a big ask. After all, Luke is the golden boy of the Force. He’s the success story that Anakin never was, and he lived up to his billing in a big way. There was no one who craved Vader’s redemption more than his son. Would Skywalker, who fought so hard to destroy the Sith, now willingly choose to become one of their numbers?
Who knows. Hanging about with the Ewoks could do that to a man.
We’ll find out for sure this December when, just maybe, Kylo Ren removes his mask at the end of the film and said to one of the characters, “Like my father before me…”
[Image via Lucasfilm]