Star Wars: The Force Awakens Explores 'Who Is Luke Skywalker?', Plus New Images

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 10:39AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 10:39AM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Explores 'Who Is Luke Skywalker?', Plus New Images
When J.J. Abrams was approached about directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he almost turned it down. He had been a Star Wars fan since he was eleven years old, and the pressure was nearly too much for him. But one simple question reeled him into the franchise: "Who is Luke Skywalker?"

Opening quote
"In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him," president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy told EW. "'Who is Luke Skywalker?' He said, 'Oh my God, I just got the chills. I'm in.' I mean, it really was almost that quickly."
Closing quote


There have been rumors floating around that the earnest, morally upright Luke Skywalker will be some kind of villain in the new films. Kennedy obviously doesn't spoil whether that's true or not, but she does allude to a return to the Light Side vs Dark Side theme of the original trilogy:

Opening quote
"The themes and ideas that we all continue to talk about are the themes and ideas that were the inherent in the original movies," Kennedy says. "We're looking, obviously, for aspiration, for characters who are conflicted between good and evil, dark and light... George spoke often about that tension in everybody between what's good and bad. He always felt that it was easier to be bad than good. I'm not sure all people would agree, but I think that that's always an interesting conflict to explore. So that's a big part of the themes inside of Episode VII."
Closing quote


There are no explicit hints as to whether Luke will be a villain, but the notion that it's "easier to be bad than good" makes us think that he will at least be struggling with his Dark Side. 

Co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, who once worked on The Empire Strikes Back, also seemed to imply a kind of identity crisis within the original characters when discussing why he returned to the franchise:

Opening quote
"I thought, 'Wow, okay, these people have lived - they're in a different place in their lives, Han and Leia and so on. They've lived the same 30 years I have. What would that be like? How would you see things differently?'" said Kasdan. "And I was trying to figure out how I saw things differently, and one of the surprises is that you don't learn all that much. You haven't become much wiser than you were, and things are not clearer to you, and the world is just as confusing as it always was - and that's a kind of lovely thing to get to write about again. Age does not necessarily bring wisdom; it just brings experience."
Closing quote


Ominously, EW claims that it is "unclear how much screentime" Luke and Leia will get in the new film, which would be consistent with Luke having some kind of villain storyline. Han Solo, on the other hand, "will be one of the leads," and will at one point end up onboard the Millennium Falcon with new characters BB-8, Rey, and Finn, as well as his beloved Chewie.

Kennedy also discussed whether there's an overriding plan for the trilogy, and whether that plan will impact Rian Johnson's script for Episode VIII:

Opening quote
"We know where we're going, but only in the broadest sense," she said. "When Rian came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it's 100 percent him."
Closing quote


EW also released several new images, in addition to the above photo of Rey and Finn:

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars The Force Awakens Asks 'Who Is Luke Skywalker'

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out on December 18.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens