It's been over a year since Mark Hamill confirmed that he was in talks to reprise his iconic role as Luke Skywalker in the next Star Wars film. In the meantime, the actor (along with co-star Carrie Fisher) got back into fighting shape - and appeared in an official production photo unveiling the film's principle cast. Nevertheless, unlike a few other high profile films coming in 2015, leaked set images have revealed very little about the core Star Wars: Episode 7 storyline - leaving many to wonder exactly where director J.J. Abrams intends to take viewers for their next adventure in that Galaxy Far, Far.
Amidst a constant stream of unsubstantiated rumors, Skywalker's role in the film remains a topic of frequent debate and without any official images of the actor in costume, fan speculation has been running wild. Now, following Disney's reveal of the Episode 7 subtitle "The Force Awakens" a new rumor has begun to circulate regarding Skywalker's arc in the film - one that, though unverified, gels with prior reports.
It goes without saying that should this latest Star Wars: Episode 7 report turn out to be true, it would represent a MAJOR SPOILER for anyone that is hoping to go into The Force Awakens without prior knowledge. So, if you are avoiding spoilers - click away now.
The latest piece of potential Star Wars: Episode 7 story spoilers comes from the site Making Star Wars - who posted a lengthy breakdown of Skywalker's arc in The Force Awakens. The site doesn't just reveal where the Jedi Master will be at the start of the movie, they go on to layout the character's entire journey throughout the film - even hinting at where he'll end up by the time the credits roll.
That said, before we share the full breakdown, it should be made clear that Making Star Wars cites their source as "friends in the know about the next Star Wars film" - without any clear details about how closely these friends are affiliated with the production. For that reason, we suggest taking the following report with a major grain of salt for now - though certain aspects definitely vibe with prior (and more official) sources.
You can read the entire account over at Making Star Wars - or check out major highlights that we've pulled below:
- Luke Skywalker does something amazing with the Force. He’s really powerful, more of “wizard than lightsaber wielding warrior.” Basically, Luke Skywalker has a “Force Unleashed” moment and realizes he might be bad for the universe. The aftermath of that event is difficult for Luke.
- For these reasons, to protect the galaxy and himself, Luke retreats into self-imposed exile for many years.
- Skywalker becomes somewhat deranged in his seclusion. He is consumed by his fear that if he should return to “society” his power could be misused, he could be manipulated, and he may accidentally hurt the ones he loves.
- He can’t always control the power. While he sits in a meditative state, he levitates things unconsciously and he’s not always in complete control and he’s never sure if he’s doing the will of the Force or acting on his own passions. Luke is seeing the past, the present, the future, “old friends long gone” and other things that prey upon his sanity.
- Luke Skywalker is described as “creepy and frightening in appearance” because you supposedly can see “the fire in his eyes” behind his grizzled appearance during some scenes.
- For most of Luke’s appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII, it is questionable if his madness will result in evil. Not even those that have known him for most of his life know if he’s sane or not anymore.
- However, the villain and the new hero both draw Skywalker out and he’s forced to intervene in the galactic conflict.
- By the last act of the film, it is clear where Luke falls on spectrum of good and evil.
Previously, we had heard rumors that Skywalker would have turned into an evil cyborg (he already has a robotic hand after all) in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens but most fans dismissed the report without too much thought - given its similarities to the story of Anakin Skywalker (not to mention turning a beloved hero into a "frightening" villain).
In the cultural consciousness, Anakin started out as a villain (one that eventually finds redemption) before George Lucas went back and explored his origins in the prequels. Luke, on the other hand, is firmly established as a hero for both kids and classic fans - albeit a hero that has always feared he will fall prey to the Dark Side like his father. After all, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
For that reason, the new report is especially interesting and, in spite of thin hearsay as a source, seems to not only lay out an interesting arc for the character - it also manages to help make sense of less believable rumors. What if the "evil cyborg Luke" rumor was based on out-of-context reports that Luke's physical appearance would have changed (read: appear "creepy" with "fiery eyes") and concept art featuring a separate cybernetic villain? If so, subsequent word of mouth spun out a story that is only partly accurate: Luke's exile has changed him physically and mentally - leaving him teetering on the fence between light and dark.
After all, fearing that he will be manipulated like Anakin is a sensible extension of themes and storylines that were already established in Luke's first three film appearances - as well as providing the iconic hero and opportunity to once again choose a different and better path. If he was just an evil cyborg, Hamill would have been brought back just to be a shock to the audience - whereas years of exile and fear give him an actual arc to explore (and a continued role in the story going forward).
As for what villain (and which new hero) will draw Luke out of exile, we'll have to wait for further details but the possibility of a tortured and twisted version Skywalker, once again wrestling with his fear, is definitely intriguing.
Star Wars: Episode 7 - The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015.
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