"You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny."
The dark side of the force -- as tantalizing as it is mysterious. The polar opposite of the light side, centered upon peace and balance, the dark side deals in chaos: fear, rage, hate -- these things are a path to the dark.
Since the release of the first trailer for Star Wars VII, fans have been crafting thought provoking, intelligent, and crazy stories surrounding Luke's role in the next trilogy. Some theories are outright ridiculous, whereas others have merit; many focus on the notion that Luke could turn to, or have some struggle with the dark side.
Throughout the thousands of years of Star Wars history -- most of which has yet to make it into the movies, Jedi have been tempted by the dark side. But now it seems like Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker himself, has been tempted by the dark side.
Could Luke really go bad?
The AV Club has recently revealed that Hamill actually pitched the idea of Luke going dark to none-other than J.J. Abrams 10 years ago, on a 2005 episode of IFC's Party For Five. During the conversation, Hamill discussed pitching the idea to George Lucas many years before, back in the days of pre-production Return of the Jedi.
“As an actor that would be more fun to play. I just thought that’s the way it was going from when we finished [Empire]."
So Hamill wanted Luke to go dark, in fact -- he expected Luke to go dark. This is huge: any credible actor should know their character inside-out, so if Hamill believes that Luke going dark is the logical evolution of his character, then the argument has serious validity.
Sure, Hamill said "it would be more fun to play," but he also said he thought that's the direction in which they were taking the character.
Hamill goes on to say that he really pushed for the idea with Lucas, and that there was even a teaser scene in Return of the Jedi which encouraged the concept of Luke going all red-saber on us. The scene, which depicted Vader calling to Luke through the force to ask for a dark side father-son bromance, ended with Luke igniting his lightsaber and probably looking pretty bad-ass.
Abrams was there!
Now, what's really interesting is that Hamill didn't realize he was pitching his "Luke should go dark" idea to the future director of the Star Wars franchise -- J.J. Abrams himself. In addition to Mark Hamill and J.J. Abrams, present at the discussion were Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Jason Lee.
So, is it possible that the idea for the seventh rendition of Star Wars -- The Force Awakens, was born 10 years ago, in a room hosting some of the science fiction greats?
Well... in addition to his role as the film's director, Abrams will also be credited as script writer, alongside George Lucas who is making a few conceptual contributions. So it's a real possibility that Abrams could apply Luke's struggle with the dark side to his own Star Wars movies.
Moreover, Hamill also recalled that Harrison Ford once told him to not ask for permission, but to just simply do things and see if Lucas caught on. With the confidence of 30 years of acting behind him, it's pretty clear Hamill will make Luke his own, and possibly even add a touch of darkness to the character now that he has his second chance at the role. Not to mention that Harrison Ford is also back and ready to be a bad influence, not just for Luke, but for the younger cast members.
Have a look at the interview below, and see for yourself.
The Deleted Scene
As a special treat for all of you, I managed to uncover the deleted scene from Star Wars VI to which Hamill was referring. Have a look and witness Luke Skywalker considering the dark side! It's a real shame they cut this scene.
The fan theories
Okay, so it's clear that, given the chance, Hamill would absolutely show Luke's darker side. But on the other hand... it has to be considered whether the notion would even work conceptually.
There's a lot to consider with this theory, including: does it fit with Luke's character, could it be done properly, and how would the fans react?
It's a real possibility, as Luke would naturally be tempted by the dark side. Moreover, his absence from the trailers indicates either a huge secret surrounding Hamill's character, or that his role in Star Wars VII is rather limited. It's likely that the search for Luke will play a vital role in the movie, but that Hamill himself will have pretty limited screen time.
If Hamill does succumb to the dark, or take a softer approach to his father's ideology, then it's safe to assume that we'd need to see a pretty reasonable portion of the movie devoted to explaining "how" and "why."
Regardless, it's clear that if Luke turning dark is a major plot point, there will be a serious reaction with the fans. Personally, as much as I want to see Luke's character as an agent of the light, it would be appealing to see some moral ambiguity added to the on-screen Star Wars universe. I'd be satisfied by the emergence of a grey Jedi, or a Revan-like figure, which so far has been absent from the story.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiering on December 18th, we don't have long to wait before we see Hamill in action as Luke Skywalker once again. Tickets are out and we're all waiting eagerly to see what Abrams has contributed to the Star Wars franchise. Personally, I can't wait!
Have another look at the most recent trailer below. Enjoy!
What do you think? Is there any chance Luke Skywalker could struggle with the dark side in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
(Related article: These Fan Theories Will Give You A New Hope For Star Wars VII.)