[WARNING: This post contains POSSIBLE SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens]
As J.J. Abrams works on putting his Star Wars: The Force Awakens together ahead of its December 2015 release date, more and more plot rumors have been popping up. Whether they're covering smaller details like relations between characters or major spoilers like people's fates, it seems that anything we want to learn about the new film is available for us to see.
Abrams attempted to throw some water on this spreading wildfire by stating that some of these reports aren't true (though he admitted some are), so we'll just have to wait and see what becomes of this latest batch. Meanwhile, fans will have more things to speculate about as they anticipate the return trip to the galaxy, far, far away.
Making Star Wars (the ultimate source for Force Awakens rumors) is back with word on the size of Luke Skywalker's role in the film. Even if you believe what Abrams said earlier and want to think that these reports aren't true, we still caution those who are interested in going into the film fresh to stop reading beyond this point.
FINAL SPOILER WARNING!
According to Making Star Wars, actor Robert Boulter has joined the cast to portray a young Luke Skywalker in a flashback sequence. Previous unconfirmed reports hinted that this narrative trick would be part of Force Awakens, with rumors circulating about a Darth Vader cameo and a young Princess Leia appearance (though we've heard nothing on those developments since). Regardless, this particular flashback seems a little more valid, as it plays into earlier rumors that have come out (including the film's opening sequence).
The flashback will take place in a location known as "Rose's pub." Rose is believed to be the character played by Lupita Nyong'o and is someone who could be a Jedi (given what she's capable of). Making Star Wars' sources claim that she is a puppet in the vein of Yoda, but it is difficult to say for certain if that's the case.
In the scene, Han, Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) visit Rose at her establishment and the four hold hands as Rose tells them her story. This triggers a flashback sequence which is detailed below. Scenes are presented in chronological order according to Making Star Wars:
- Dead bodies lay on the floor of a Jedi Academy. Luke shows up, sees what has happened, and departs.
- R2-D2 is sad because he is not accompanying his master on the trip.
- In the savannah environment from the opening sequence, the hand that took the lightsaber is revealed to be Naka's.
- In the savannah location, a peasant drops the lightsaber, starts a fire, and panics.
- A local trader is seen leaving the desert and makes a sale to a wealthy man.
- At night in an undisclosed location, there is a "fierce battle" between two groups known as the Clan and the Seven. The Clan is using the lightsaber against their enemies.
- Once the last man is down, we see Kylo Ren (the cross guard lightsaber-wielding villain) approach Rey.
- Finally, the Seven are seen looting in search of an object, as Rose is shown in the foreground with the lightsaber.
It then cuts back to the present day, where Rose presents the lightsaber to Rey and Finn. The former is revolted by its presence and flees the scene, while the latter is attracted to its power. Rose notes that she now knows why the lightsaber "came to her" (referring to Rey). Kylo Ren arrives with stormtroopers to attack the pub, and Rose defeats them using her abilities.
Without context, this flashback could be exceptionally confusing to those trying to make sense of it. At first glance, it appears that post-Return of the Jedi, Luke started a new Jedi Academy and is in the process of training apprentices. It is at this Academy where an object of great importance is held (recall the plot point of Kylo Ren looking for artifacts that can open an ancient Sith tomb), which is why the Seven arrive to loot the place in search of it. It is unknown if Kylo betrayed the new Jedi Order (is that the Clan?), but it's a distinct possibility given what we know about his motives.
Another question that some will have is how Rose is in possession of the lightsaber when the opening sequence (in which the soccer ball droid BB-8 brings it to Rey) seems to revolve around it. It's possible that both the lightsaber from the opening and Rose's sword are different items (i.e., the tomb needs multiple objects to open it) or that there was misinformation in the prior report (remember Abrams' comments).
It's also becoming increasingly likely that what we've heard about Luke is true. For a long time, it has been speculated that the old Jedi Master has gone AWOL, choosing to spend his days guarding the Sith tomb so that it can never be opened. If he saw that evildoers in the galaxy were so desperate to acquire its contents that they would kill, it's very plausible that he would leave his friends behind to protect the tomb.
If Luke is in isolation, another thing on fans' minds will be how exactly he plays into the proceedings. A big reason so many are excited for The Force Awakens is because it marks the return of the original trilogy actors in their iconic roles. However, those expecting to see Mark Hamill get a lot of screen time are bound to be disappointed by the other rumor from Making Star Wars, which states that he is barely in the film.
Apparently, Luke will not show up until the final moments of the movie, where Rey, Chewbacca, and BB-8 fly the Millennium Falcon to a faraway planet so that Rey can return the lightsaber to Luke, who is being saved for a more substantial part in Episode VIII.
Hamill was on set throughout last summer for the film, so many will cry foul upon reading this. That said, the actor did mention that Force Awakens is more about the new characters, so there could be some truth to the report. In all the scene breakdowns we've heard about, Luke is absent from them all (excluding this one), meaning he may not have a large role in the new film at all.
As fans struggle to try to piece everything together, they can take solace in the belief that we will be getting some clarity shortly. In just a couple of months, Abrams will be kicking off Star Wars Celebration 2015, where it is thought he will debut a new trailer for the movie. Hopefully, that will clear some things up, and we can talk about what officially released footage means instead of an endless stream of rumors.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18.
Header Image from AnthonyFoti @ DeviantArt