Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Earlier we wrote about Constable Zuvio, a character that was featured in a lot of the early Star Wars: The Force Awakens marketing but didn’t feature in the finished film. The other character that fits that bill is a guy named Sarco Plank. While he didn’t have an official photo released like Zuvio, he did have an action figure, book, and is featured in a bunch of other merchandise — yet no one can seem to find him in The Force Awakens.
So who is Sarco Plank? What part was he originally supposed to have in the film? Was his role cut? Lets dive into the questions and more, after the jump.
The Action Figure and Vanity Fair Photo
Sarco Plank got his own action figure released by Hasbro as part of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line and was even featured prominently in Vanity Fair’s Force Awakens photo shoot. The back of the action figure describes the character as “a scavenger and trader who scours frontier worlds for riches, Sarco Plank must wear a specialized mask that keeps his native atmosphere circulating through his alien lungs.”
While figures of the film’s protagonist Rey are almost no where to be found, you can find tons of tweets from people disappointed to only find pegs of Sarco Plank at their local toy stores. And rightfully so: why would anyone buy a figure of this character when no one can seem to even see him in the film itself?
The StarWars.com databank gives us the a longer description:
An eyeless insectoid member of the Melitto species, Sarco Plank is an amoral scavenger, bounty hunter and arms dealer who does business in Niima Outpost on Jakku. During the Galactic Civil War he made a living as a tomb raider, once serving as a guide for a young Luke Skywalker on Devaron. Sarco dueled Skywalker with his electrostaff, an encounter that left the scavenger with a near-fatal lightsaber wound and a healthy respect for Jedi abilities.
So it sounds like he would have appeared in the Jakku sequence of the film, and his backstory with Luke Skywalker got some fans excited about what part he may play in the story for The Force Awakens.
The Visual Dictionary
Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo writes about Sarco in the Nima Outpost section of The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. Sarco is listed as one of the residents of Nima Outpost, a scrap trading settlement originally founded by the late and oppurtunistic Nima the Hutt after the Battle of Jakku. Here is what the book says about Sarco Plank:
“One-time scavenger, bounty hunter and tomb raider, Sarco Plank is an aging Melitto who has made a multitude of enemies in his checkered career. The eyeless being “sees” via supersensitive cilia.”
The book also points out that the box attached to Sarco’s chest is a nutrient and fluid dispenser and offers a bit about his current line of work and weaponry:
“Now an arms dealer, Sarco’s business in Nima involves fencing stolen weaponry to travelers looking to brave the Graveyard wastes. To emphasize the quality of his wares, Sarco Brandishes an exotic Trandoshan triple, an attachment that increases the firepower of any compatible blaster.”
The Art of The Force Awakens
For some insight into his design we go to The Art of The Force Awakens book, where Sarco Plank is barely mentioned. We get the above concept illustration by senior sculpter Martin Rezard who explains that “Sarco Plank came up when we were doing research and producing designs with the idea of creating San People. One of the drafts I created got picked up, which had a little bit of a lobster feel about it, especially in the face.”
Of course, this look is probably something that clicked with many people, including Hasbro and other merchandising arms, which is why we got so many Sarco Plank merchandise in the lead up to Force Awakens.
But the question still is, where is he? What role was he supposed to play? After the jump we take a look art Sarco Plank’s featured appearance alongside Luke Skywalker in The Weapon of the Jedi novel (which you can watch in animated form) and we get to the bottom of where he is or isn’t in the film, and what role he may have had in the deleted scenes.