I just don’t buy the theories out there that just because Luke is not in the preview for Force Awakens that this proves that he has gone to the Dark Side. I can totally be okay with Luke going to the Dark Side in between Jedi and Awaken, but they did the whole story very well in a comic series called Dark Empire (followed by a great sequel called Dark Empire II where they also brought back the Emperor) and I doubt that they could top that in terms of storytelling.
I like the idea that Luke did not save the galaxy by destroying Vader and the Emperor, and that it will fall to Han and Leia’s kid to actually fulfill that destiny (would make that line carry more resonance and connect the old with the new). But none of what was said in this article makes much sense.
1. Luke rushes off to Bespin and Never Finishes his training and this is the start of him moving to the Dark Side: Did we forget that whole scene where Luke does go back to Yoda to complete his training, but Yoda says that his training is already completed? I doubt that Yoda would have been okay with shuffling off his mortal coil knowing he had created another Anakin Skywalker. This was Yoda saying that he was as prepared as he could be, as any Jedi could be, to take on the forces of evil.
2. Luke is the bad guy on Tatooine: To say that Luke was the bad guy because he killed Jabba and a bunch of his guys is bull because it wasn’t like he shoved his way in there and just started hacking away (which we have seen Sith do in other medium when needed). First he tried to reason (in fact he does this more than once, including both in the palace and at the Sarlac pit), and then he let himself be recaptured after he defeated the Rancor, something he didn’t need to do based on his Jedi powers. And Luke didn’t kill Jabba, Leia killed Jabba.
3. Luke Chooses The Dark Side in the Throne Room: I won’t dispute that Luke did come close to embracing the Dark Side in his fight against his father, but the idea that he pulled back just so that he could figure out how to rule on his own is ludicrous. If that was the case, he wouldn’t have tried to save his father after Vader killed the emperor and he wouldn’t have let the Rebels destroy the second Death Star (something he could have still prevented after the Emperor died had he wanted to). Why give up such a powerful weapon?
And why would he have gone back to his friends at that point and not just grabbed some of the now leaderless Empire lackies and start his own army (and before you start to say it, no he is not the leader of the First Order in Awaken, it is pretty clear that is Kylo Ren)? You really think he was playing the long con by celebrating with the Ewoks and staying as the great protector of the rebels and staying under cover? That doesn’t sound like the Dark Side…especially if in the new movie he is not a ruler in some position of power in the new government. Most of the Darths were very flamboyant in their evilness, it was only Palpatine that “hid in plain sight” taking over the government from within. Luke doesn’t strike me as that kind of character, he is one who will charge in, like his father before him, and give into his emotions to solve a problem.
So where is Luke?: I think the “where is Luke” in the promos is exactly what it is meant to be: A talking point that J.J. Abrams specifically wanted. Plus we know that Luke most likely doesn’t appear till near the end of the movie so why waste it in the preview? Plus, why would you assume that just because someone is not in the preview that they are evil? C3PO is not in the preview, does that mean that he is evil as well? I mean, he is supposed to have a red arm in the new movie and red is the color of Satan and evil, so he must be evil! Bad logic McFly (sorry, wrong franchise).
So I am not saying it is out of the realm of possibility that Abrams will make him evil, but that is not true to who Abrams is. If the Star Trek reboot showed us anything it is that he is true to the characters he is bringing into this new generation and making Luke, a character who was meant to follow in his Father’s footsteps but to succeed where his father failed, an evil character because it is a good plot twist would truly ruin the triumph of the third movie and that is not something I think that Abrams is looking to do in staying true to the universe and the world and characters that Lucas created.
Just my two credits.