There’s nothing worse than seeing the wondrous “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer and still not being satisfied, even with the cavalcade of amazing visuals and character detail it establishes. But that’s exactly what many viewers felt when the teaser ended without offering a glimpse at the franchise’s principal character, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Although the third and final trailer for the highly anticipated film brought us another look at returning original trilogy cast members Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the often-forgotten Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), it was conspicuously devoid of any look at what the Jedi master has been up to all these years. According to director J.J. Abrams, there’s a perfectly good reason why audiences haven’t seen Skywalker yet -- one that he’s absolutely not going to share.
“These are good questions to be asking,” he told the Associated Press at a recent red carpet event. “I can’t wait for you to find out the answer It’s no accident.”
While this isn’t necessarily a shock, it does confirm that the famed director has something big in store for Luke Skywalker’s return to the franchise after more than 32 years. Unfortunately, the notoriously spoiler-conscious Abrams didn’t offer any clues as to what the big surprise is. For those answers, one has only the rumor mill to turn to, which has been speculating about Skywalker’s return for months.
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss theories and potential spoilers for the upcoming “Star Wars” films.]
As previously reported, some leaked details from the set of “The Force Awakens” were posted to the noteworthy rumor site MakingStarWars in February, hinting that Skywalker may need some time to return to the character fans know and love. The rumor suggested that the original trilogy lead character had placed himself in exile in order to guard an ancient artifact that the First Order wants. If Abrams is hoping to tell this story, he may not want to reveal an advanced look at the character if he’s not going to be recognizable to the audience for plot reasons.
Another rumor indicates that Skywalker’s absence from any teasers may be because he’s not a large presence in “The Force Awakens.” According to recent reports by the Irish Examiner from the set of Rain Johnson’s 2017 follow-up “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” Hamill will appear in the next film as well. This has led many to believe that “The Force Awakens” will be more of a Han and Leia vehicle, and will merely establish a larger story for Luke by the time it ends. Unfortunately, fans still have to wait until Dec. 18 to finally see what the biggest “Star Wars” character has been up to since “Return of the Jedi.”
What do you think of Skywalker’s absence in “The Force Awakens” promotional material? Comment below or tweet your theories to @TylerMcCarthy.