luke skywalker the force awakens

Mark Hamill is billed second in the credits for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, wedged right in between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. So we know that Luke Skywalker is in the movie. The fact that the actor playing him has been given the appropriate credit confirms it. Which then takes us to the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue: where is he? His face isn’t on the poster. He doesn’t show up in any of the trailers. There have been no official photos and no LEGO sets that manage to contain massive plot spoilers in their box art. The location and status of the last proper Jedi in the galaxy is a big ol’ question mark.

Where is Luke Skywalker? “Exactly!” says J.J. Abrams as he drops a smoke bomb and vanishes into thin air, his laughter still echoing off the walls.

The Sydney Morning Herald (via Star Wars News Net) recently caught up with Abrams and, apparently equipped with the proper charms to keep him from transforming into an eagle and flying away, they managed to ask him why Luke hasn’t been present in any of the marketing for The Force Awakens. His response is Grade-A Abrams:

These are good questions to be asking. I can’t wait for you to find out the answers.

When pushed further, the talented but infamously secretive filmmaker would only budge slightly. He says that “It’s no accident” that Luke is absent from the trailers, which certainly implies that where he is and what happened to him is going to be an important plot point in the movie itself.

Abrams’ penchant for mystery has long been one of his defining features a director and creator and it’s been a double-edged lightsaber. On one hand, he’s right: why not go into the theater without knowing every plot point in advance? The internet has spoiled fandom, transforming us into a bunch of Veruca Salts who feel entitled to know everything about a movie a year before it hits theaters. Abrams only wants to surprise and delight us – there is nothing more noble. His insistence on keeping basic plot details and character names and costumes under wraps is admirable and brave and makes him into something of a hero.

However, his insistence on keeping basic plot details and character names and costumes under wraps is also profoundly annoying and it forces fans to descend into the darkest bowels of the internet to trade in leaked concept art and stolen photos to get their fix. If you actually, truly, really want to know where Luke Skywalker is, the answers are out there – it is a simple Google search away, as The Force Awakens has been a pretty leaky ship. Could this kind of ravenous self-spoiling be avoided if Abrams and Lucasfilm dropped just a few more tidbits of information on the regular? That’s the other big question, second only to to “Where the hell is Luke Skywalker?”

The same interviewer did get a few more questions with Mr. Abrams, who says that the film is almost finished:

The visual effects process goes on for so long that my guess is that we’ll be doing visual effects for the next three or four week, even though the cut will be done before then … We still have another scoring session with John Williams, who is a god when it comes to music. It’s been an ongoing surreal experience and I just cannot wait for the movie to be out in the world.

In other words, Abrams won’t have a second to relax until Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually opens on December 18, 2015. In the meantime, you can join us in asking other big questions about the new trailer, if you need some way to occupy your time for the next month and a half.

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