Who Is Sarco Plank And Was He In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'?

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.

sarco plank action figure

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?

sarco plank

The Databank

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."

sarco plank concept art

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.

Weapon of A Jedi

Weapon of A Jedi

Like Zuvio, Sarco Plank also got his own standalone story in one of the books released as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens book series. But unlike Zuvio, Plank wasn't just part of a short story but a full on junior novel starring Luke Skywalker. The novel is called The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure, and Sarco Plank features prominently on the back side of the cover (seen above). Written by Jason Fry, the story follows an adventure of Luke Skywalker that took place between Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.

The official description says the story follows "Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 stranded on a mysterious planet, and explores a dangerous duel between Luke and a strange new villain." It also promises that "hidden in the story are also clues and hints about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!" The book begins just before the start of The Force Awakens, with C-3P0 telling the story to an X-Wing pilot named Jessika Pava.

The story involves Luke Skywalker in search for an ancient Jedi temple, the  Temple of Eedit on Devaron. He hires Sarco Plank to guide him find it, and when the Imperials show up, Plank helps him defeat the Imperial threat. But the electro-staff-wielding scavenger is not an ally, he was waiting for Luke to open the temple with his Force powers so he could steal some of the treasures inside. When that plan doesn't work, he tries to steal Luke's lightsaber. Luke ends up knocking Plank into a deep pit.

With this extensive set-up, fans excitedly theorized that Sarco Plank might have a larger role than initially thought and could maybe even be after Luke Skywalker's lightsaber in The Force Awakens.

Motion Comic And Other Books

An animated comic adaptation of The Weapon of the Jedi was created by Nestlé as part of a promotional campaign. You can watch that short animated short film above, which presents part of the story from the book.

Just like Constable Zuvio, the character was removed from the official novelization of the movie despite many deleted scenes remaining in the book.


What Was His Role In The Force Awakens?

Sarco Plank can be seen very very briefly in the background of the Nima Outpost trading grounds, but his role has been almost completely removed from the film. Very little is known about Sarco Plank's role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We know that he was originally supposed to appear in the Jakku section of the film, and leaks from production lead many people to believe that he was one of many people who were after Rey and BB8 after the First Order sent out a bounty for the droid. Some have theorized that he may have been part of the confrontation with Constable Zuvio.

Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo seems to believe that he never had a speaking role in the film, he was always just a background player, filling out the frame.

Until they release the deleted scenes for the film, we won't know for sure.

If you enjoyed this feature on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may want to check out some of the following articles:

  • The Ultimate Guide To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Easter Eggs
  • We Have the Answers To 26 Unanswered Questions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • How Force Awakens Changed During Development: Jedi Killers, Force Ghosts and The Doom Star
  • 10 Insights From the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Novelization Not in the Movie
  • Star Wars Episode 8 Theories: Who Is Rey's Father?
  • Who Is Constable Zuvio and Sarco Plank and where were they in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?