[WARNING: This post contains possible SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to give fans of the galaxy far, far away another chance to see old friends such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, but audiences should expect to see more of the new characters in J.J. Abrams' film. Disney has placed the new guard front and center in the marketing campaign so far, revealing names like Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). However, the actors are far from the only new arrivals to the franchise, meaning we still have much to learn.
Take, for instance, Domhnall Gleeson. The former Harry Potter actor is someone who has an unknown role in the film, and his character was mentioned in the recent rumored breakdown of the movie's plot. According to the latest reports, he is playing a Rebel who defected to the Empire after discovering the Alliance had constructed a super weapon, and is the "son of a major character." How major? Well, he just might be the Son of Skywalker.
Making Star Wars (the same site that posted the newest rumors) is claiming that they have heard from four different sources that Gleeson is portraying Luke's offspring. In cases like this, it's important to take this information with a grain of salt, but given what we've heard about the film (and that so many people are saying the same thing), it would certainly seem like there is some truth here. If Gleeson is related to a major Star Wars character, they don't get much bigger than Luke.
The report makes no mention of the character's name, so some could presume that Gleeson is playing Kylo Ren (the cloaked figure wielding the cross guard lightsaber). If this development is true, that would make sense, but Kylo is the part that is rumored to be filled by Adam Driver, and all signs are pointing to Gleeson's character serving as an Imperial officer of sorts and not a Force user. Luke did have a son (Ben) in the Expanded Universe, but the EU is - for the most part - no longer canon.
In addition to Gleeson's potential movie bloodlines, Making Star Wars had some additional details about his character. Playing in line with what we've previously heard, Gleeson's role is actually that of a double agent who is on a secret mission to rid the galaxy of super weapons from both sides of the conflict, believing that their existence is against his moral compass. While he is trying to track down Finn (who has gone AWOL from the Empire), he's apparently doing bad things in the name of the greater good.
They also say that his character has "major implications" for the overarching narrative of the film. His actions in what is referred to as the Galactic Cold War are successful in disabling the super weapons, but prevents there from being anything to keep the peace ("mutually assured destruction" is no longer an option now). Things escalate when the fight for control over planets and territories commences, leading to battles with unforeseen consequences.
If all this ends up being fact, then Gleeson could be one of the more interesting and memorable characters in the whole movie. He would provide viewers with a mirror image of Finn, who allegedly has seen first-hand how brutal the Empire can be (causing him to defect). Furthermore, the idea that the Rebellion has less-than-honorable folks working for it (leading their own members to question methods) would be new material for a Star Wars film to tackle and give audiences some heady food-for-thought. Not to mention, exploring Gleeson's relationship with Luke could lead to strong character moments that supplement the genre thrills.
Of course, since these are all still pesky rumors and not official information from Disney/Lucasfilm, this could all end up being hearsay by the time we see the final product. In due time we should be getting the second Force Awakens trailer, which will hopefully provide some story hints and clear this picture up so we have some idea what to expect when December rolls around.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters December 18.
Source: Making Star Wars