There’s been no shortage of discussion regarding the latest trailer and recent marketing campaign for Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, and quite a bit of that buzz has to do with the conspicuous absence of one particular character from the original trilogy that we know for a fact is in the film: Luke Skywalker.
Speculation abounds regarding the reasons behind the minimal presence of actor Mark Hamill’s iconic character in the trailer, posters, and other teasers for the film, and director J.J. Abrams recently confirmed that the lack of Luke Skywalker is indeed very intentional.
Asked by the Associated Press about Luke’s whereabouts in The Force Awakens marketing campaign, Abrams only added fuel to the speculative fire.
“These are good questions to be asking, [and] I can’t wait for you to find out the reason,” he responded. “It’s no accident.”
Thus far, one of the only significant glimpses of Hamill’s character has been a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in the recent trailer depicting a cloaked figure reaching out to the droid R2-D2. The figure is sporting a cybernetic hand — much like Skywalker — so it’s assumed (but not confirmed) that this is Hamill’s character.
With the long-awaited sequel now just a few months away from its premiere, Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to build anticipation in earnest with various teasers and promotional materials, while the film itself is still being tweaked to attain the proper visual effects. Abrams discussed the post-production a bit in the same interview, and provided a status update of sorts on The Force Awakens.
“The visual effects process goes on for so long, my guess is that we’ll probably be doing visual effects for the next three or four weeks even though the cut will be done before then,” he said. “We’re in the editing room, and you know working on the cut, going over visual effects and doing reviews. We still have another scoring session with John Williams, who is a god when it comes to music, and so it’s been an ongoing surreal experience and I just cannot wait for the movie to be out in the world.”
Set 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens introduces a new set of heroes and villains to the Star Wars universe, while also bringing back a long list of fan-favorite characters from the previous films. The film stars returning cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker, as well as newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong, and Miltos Yerolemou.
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015.