Ever since that Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer dropped that halted the Internet from momentarily allowing others to watch that same thing, as well as our old whiny hero not appearing on the major promotional poster, people have been clambering that Luke is, in fact, Kylo Ren, or at the very least, a Sith Lord. There have been arguments that Luke secretly turned during Return of the Jedi or that he's feeling remorse over the events that happened or he formed this "First Order" and is now evil for it.
I'm not buying it. None of it. In fact, much of the movie would fall apart if so. The theory that Luke is Kylo Ren is basically out the window at this point for two reasons: 1) Adam Driver is clearly the one swinging Excali-saber at John Boyega's character and 2) Adam Driver has, in press interviews, stated that he is playing Kylo Ren.
Let's also not forget that Mark Hamill has been sporting a Ben Kenobi-esque beard for a while now, probably in homage to the character as he has become one of the last remaining Jedi. Let's also back this by some of the lines Han Solo says in the trailer, "It's true, all of it. The Dark Side, the Jedi." You've gotta remember that the gap between Six and Seven is actually much longer than the gaps between Three and Four, and remember that Luke knew next to nothing about the Jedi in that film. Granted that was probably because his aunt and uncle wanted him to know nothing of it, but what about in that roundtable meeting of Imperial officers? The man that Vader nearly kills speaks of the Force in a vague way, and nobody even brings up the Jedi. More likely, they've already forgotten, as the Jedi have all gone into hiding.
I just don't understand how people are getting that Luke is a bad guy. Because he isn't in the promotional art? Well, you've gotta keep in mind that, besides Han Solo, Luke Skywalker is the most popular of the Star Wars heroes. They're not afraid to show Han because, well, he's ultimately the bridge between "normal" people and the Jedi. He's worked with Luke both as a normal pilot and during times where Luke openly displayed feats no normal human could pull off. I mean did you see that incredible finesse and grace he displayed over the Sarlacc Pit?!
I joke, of course (that scene was still awesome). But, I have a feeling we're not seeing Luke for the simple reason that JJ Abrams wants to blow us away with his arrival. I mean, Luke, as far as we know at the film's beginning, is the last remaining Jedi with proper training (Leia still not confirmed, or any of their possible children). I believe that the Knights of Ren are coming after Luke's original lightsaber...so technically they're looking for Anakin's lightsaber from Revenge of the Sith...but how sick would it be if one of them shows up, yells "Where's the weapon?" and all of a sudden Mark Hamill emerges from the shadows, lightsaber out, taunting his enemies like a total badass. Will it happen that way? I don't know. It'd be sweet if it did.
I'm just hoping his green lightsaber makes a return. Besides Maul's double-sided sword, it's my favorite.
But the big thing that deters me from Luke turning evil is the entire climax of the final film. People always point to when Luke sliced at the Emperor to take him out that he was going to go evil. They claim it's from a lack of training, that if he did it then he would have definitely taken up the mantle of the Sith. Yet, how many other times have major Star Wars characters openly killed or lied to someone, deceiving them the way a Sith would?
Qui-Gon gambled in the first film. Obi-Wan sliced Darth Maul in half. Mace Windu lopped off Jango Fett's head without any remorse. Even Ben was going to kill Darth Vader in A New Hope to finish what they started. So, Luke killing the Emperor is a big deal, but, it's not like this would have been the turning point. Really, I think, the moment he would have turned was the private moment he had with Darth Vader. Think about it: Vader admitted that Anakin died that day on Mustafar. He taunts Luke by wielding his son's lightsaber and assuring that every Rebel on the planet will die. Luke is constantly taunted and taunted, so what do you expect him to do? I don't really think the Emperor would have let Luke complete the swing, either.
Let's not forget, too, that Luke proudly claimed that he was a Jedi. There was no inflection in his tone to denote otherwise. He knows that if he finishes Vader off, he'll become a machine to the Sith like his father did. He also knows that Vader is not his father, but Anakin Skywalker is, and that deep down, beneath the machine parts, is the man that Ben Kenobi thought was dead. It makes the climax of the movie as epic as it does.
Would a Sith really cry out for help from his father? Wouldn't a Sith rather concede defeat, after realizing the incredible power the Emperor has? Luke throws away his lightsaber, defying the two Sith Lords that slaughtered almost every Jedi, and says, "I am a Jedi." Not even Anakin Skywalker, the Jesus-child of Jedi, could say that. Luke hasn't evolved from a farm-boy into a villain now.
Luke Skywalker is a hero with a chip on his shoulder, but if the sixth movie shows, it's that he's ready to move on. When he sees the Force Ghosts, then walks away when Leia calls to him, he doesn't tell her to wait a moment or stare back in reflection. No, he immediately moves forward onto his new life with his friends. What possible reason does Luke have to be evil? In all the trilogy, there is little reason for him to turn. And if he does turn evil, it'll feel forced like no tomorrow. There's an incredibly interesting story already presented if the Knights of Ren really are after Luke's lightsaber, and already have Vader's mask. Out to finish what he started, they say?
Sounds more like Kylo Ren wants to exterminate all remaining Jedi, using a force of Imperial magnitude to do it. Perhaps in the process he'll try to become Darth Vader. He's almost there, given the look. Ren and company can prove to be an incredible threat to a new batch of heroes. If Skywalker does turn out to be the leader, I don't think it'll be for very long. Luke can be stupid, but not this stupid. It'll probably end up being that he started the Knights, they fell by the wayside, and he went into exile, ashamed of what he's done, and avoiding responsibility.
Luke Skywalker isn't a bad guy. He's a Jedi Knight. Like his father before him.