Where the hell is Luke Skywalker?
It's a question many fans are asking after the latest Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens trailer aired last week to mark the beginning of the film's pre-ticket sales. And it's not a complaint. The trailer set viewing records just as the pre-ticket sales numbers did too. The hype is as strong as the force for the return of the saga and the continuance of the original trilogy even with Luke absent.
Mark Hamill, alongside Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, were must-haves in making Star Wars 7 a reality and while Luke's voice is heard in the second teaser, his face hasn't made an appearance in any of the marketing materials. There are no toys, no official photos of Luke, and he doesn't even appear on the poster. This reality made fans wonder how much of a role the now elder Skywalker really has in the Episode VII and if his appearance in it is just setting up for Episode VIII (currently in production) and beyond. Instead, the spotlight has been rightfully placed on new characters - alongside Han Solo and Chewbacca would made a triumphant debut in the second teaser and new full-length trailer. Even Leia Organa appeared in the latest trailer and poster, but still, no Luke...
Luke's absence is of course intentional. It's a mystery like many others from director J.J. Abrams, just like the last names of Finn and Rey are held back with reason as well. It's how Abrams builds and markets his films - his "mystery box" strategy - to avoid spoilers and keep the intrigue and discussion alive until the very end.
So, when asked where's Luke and what his absence means while on the red carpet for the GLSEN Respect Awards, Abrams would only tease that there is a reason for it.
"These are good questions to be asking. I can't wait for you to find out the answer... It's no accident."
There are all sorts of rumors about Luke Skywalker which we won't list here to avoid potential spoilers, but if any of the big ones are true we can see why Luke's not a part of the marketing. He doesn't need to be to promote the film. It sells itself. And this strategy just makes his eventual reveal that much more exciting and relevant.
As for the status of the film's post-production now that it's less than two months from theatrical release, Abrams also explained that the final cut is nearly done and visual effects should be complete in three to four weeks. There's only one more scoring session with original composer John Williams as well.
The film is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Luke Skywalker art Liam Pickford