[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) is nearly upon us, and the closer we get to the film's release, the more eager we are to know the answers to the movie's greatest mysteries. Although we've had 4 trailers and the first of many TV adverts, all of which boast impressive footage of Star Wars 7, there's still a lot we don't know about the film.
Of course, the one thing that has fans most intrigued is the absence of Luke Skywalker from The Force Awakens' impressive marketing. Recently, JJ Abrams sat down with Wired to give his thoughts on the upcoming film, and there's one thing he mentioned which stands out in particular in regards to the search for Luke Skywalker.
Epic Plot Twists
Star Wars is iconic for many reasons: the exciting plot that fuses scifi with samurai stories, the groundbreaking special effects and compelling character designs. But perhaps its most recognisable moment is this big reveal...
The impact of this is still evident, as countless references and memes based on this moment saturate pop culture. But as Abrams points out, this moment only had the effect it did because it came after A New Hope.
"It was a massively powerful, instantly classic moment in movie history, but it was only possible because it stood on the shoulders of the film that came before it. There had been a couple of years to allow the idea of Darth Vader to sink in, to let him emerge as one of the greatest movie villains ever. Time built up everyone’s expectations about the impending conflict between Luke and Vader. If “I am your father” had been in the first film, I don’t know if it would have had the resonance."
Analysis aside (and Abrams does make a great point), this has interesting implications for Star Wars 7. Abrams has built up a bunch of mysteries for fans to get excited about, mostly revolving around the backstories of a handful of characters.
We've got Rey, the simple scavenger who's waiting for her family, and is positioned to be the main protagonist of The Force Awakens at least. We don't know much about Finn, either, or Kylo Ren, Abrams' answer to Vader himself, whose entire characterisation is secretive. And of course, there's Luke Skywalker, who seems to be lost without a trace, which is a departure from his influential role in forming the New Republic in the previous Expanded Universe canon.
So what does Abrams' statement mean for these characters? It seems like he's loathe to include any major plot twists in Star Wars 7, so that people can get used to the new plot and situation. We've probably got a big reveal coming in Episode 8, to mirror The Empire Strikes Back, but Star Wars 7 is looking more and more like a search for answers, rather than a revelation...
The Hunt For Luke Skywalker
Since the synopsis of the film was first released, the whole story seems to be geared around Rey and Finn's search for Luke Skywalker, aka "the most powerful warrior in the galaxy". The early trailers revealed they would team up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, and trailer 4 seems to have revealed something very crucial about the search for Luke Skywalker: The First Order are also looking for him!
The international trailer features some new footage of The First Order and Kylo Ren on Jakku, and they seem to be raiding a small town. They're definitely looking for someone, and as Rey and the others seem to have escaped the planet in the Falcon (hotly pursued by TIE fighters), it's likely that Kylo Ren's on the hunt for someone else. And who's that guy everyone wants to find, again? Oh yeah, Luke Skywalker.
This definitely suggests that The Force Awakens will be a race to find Luke Skywalker first, and while I previously theorised that the film would end with Rey and Finn asking Luke to train them in the ways of the Force, I'm now wondering whether The First Order, or the enigmatic Knights Of Ren, will get to Luke first...
What's really clever about all this is that Abrams seems to be expanding the search for Luke Skywalker into the fanbase! By eliminating Luke from the trailers Abrams has the fans hunting for Luke as keenly as the characters seem to be in Star Wars 7. And as for what will happen to Luke when he's found, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently hinted that we shouldn't be so sure of Skywalker's safety...
io9: "Should we be concerned about Luke Skywalker?"
Kennedy: "I think it’s always wise to be concerned about any of the characters in Star Wars, right?"
If you need me, I'll just be over in the corner clutching my lightsaber and hyperventilating from fear.
So when we put all this together, I don't know if we can even be certain that Luke Skywalker will have a large role in Star Wars 7, and whatever the answer to the mystery is, it might not be revealed until episode 8. But what do you make of these new hints? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!
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