Luke Skywalker Missing: ‘Star Wars 7’ Director J.J. Abrams Explains Why

Why is Luke Skywalker missing from most promotional material about Star Wars: The Force Awakens? This is the question many fans have been wondering ever since the final trailer was released, and even the poster didn’t feature the Jedi made famous in George Lucas’ original trilogy.

Perhaps we were mistaken?

Star Wars 7 director J.J. Abrams has revealed a clue about what happened to the aging Luke, and some theories might actually be true. He didn’t confirm anything though, continuing his legacy of keeping everything quiet about the film until the Star Wars 7 release date of December 18, a week before Christmas in 2015.

The reason why Luke Skywalker is missing remains a mystery, but according to Entertainment Weekly, J.J. Abrams has intentionally kept him out of the spotlight. The Star Wars 7 director said, “No one forgot about him! We were hoping people would care, but there are a lot of things that are not on the poster, as busy as the poster is. Certainly Luke is a very important aspect of the story.”

Yes, Padawans everywhere will see Mark Hamill reprise his most famous role outside his voice acting for the Joker. It seems Luke may be the film’s MacGuffin, much like the titular character of Saving Private Ryan. The film could easily be about Han (Harrison Ford), Leia (Carrie Fisher), and the rest searching for the lost Jedi as they pick up help from Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisey Ridley).

Another reason why Luke Skywalker is missing in the trailers and posters could be that Abrams may be pulling the same trick he did with Star Trek Into Darkness. Luke might actually in the trailers and poster and we’ve been fooled. It’s been insisted that Adam Driver is the new Sith Lord Kylo Ren, though we don’t see the face under the mask.

This theory gets a possible explanation from the very question which attracted J.J. Abrams to direct the film. The question offered by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was, “In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him: ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?'”

The most popular theory has yet to be unproven though. The events of the original Star Wars trilogy may have led to Luke Skywalker not missing, but turning to the dark side. He had been warned about this in Return of the Jedi when Yoda told him, “If you end your training now – if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.”

Luke had gone through a lot more pain and emotional scarring than his father did. Anakin merely lost his mother and then felt betrayed by the Jedi Order, the same people who took him away from her. Luke Skywalker, missing his aunt and uncle after they were slaughtered in his absence, also had to witness his own father sacrificing himself to take out the Emperor. The hero had become the recipient of a larger toll on his emotions.

Luke Skywalker may well have taken over the role that Emperor Palpatine played in the original trilogy, having actually trained Kylo Ren to become the “new Darth Vader.”

This coincides with what Mark Hamill had told J.J. Abrams in an episode of Dinner for Five alongside Stan Lee, Jason Lee, and Kevin Smith a few years ago. He’d suggested to George Lucas that his character should turn evil after Return of the Jedi, as reported by Comic Book.

Could J.J. Abrams actually be making that happen? Is Luke Skywalker missing from the trailers and the poster because he’s the new leader of the Sith?

We’ll all know when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theaters next month.

[Feature image via Star Wars / Disney]