We’ve been seeing this one pop up all over the place.
Just where the heck is Luke Skywalker? He hasn’t been mentioned in the trailers, he’s not on the poster, we haven’t seen any promo shots of him, and everyone seems tight lipped on his role in the film. This has led to some speculation that Luke is in the film… but not in the way we think. In fact, the going theory is that Luke is actually Kylo Ren, the masked Knight of Ren who works for the First Order.
We’re here to take a look at this theory and see how likely it is.
So… how likely is it that Luke Skywalker is Kylo Ren?
Not very likely at all.
… care to elaborate on that?
While we think it’s a pretty inventive piece of speculation… and in theory it could potentially lead to good drama. But there’s simply no evidence to support it and a lot of evidence in favor of it being false.
What evidence is there against the theory?
First of all, it’s been officially announced that Adam Driver is playing him. He’s talked about the process of bringing the character to life at Comic-Con. In addition, we’ve seen Kylo Ren unmasked in a Vanity Fair photo and he has Adam Driver’s face:
The photo has the following caption: “Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base.”
It should also be noted that these photos were taken on set and feature interviews with the cast and crew… so they’re officially sanctioned.
What if that photo is a lie?
It could be, but that seems a little over elaborate doesn’t it? Sure, J.J. Abrams is the same guy who lied about John Harrison being Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness… but faking photos is just another level entirely.
Not to mention, if Adam Driver isn’t playing Kylo Ren, just who the heck is he playing?
There’s got to be other evidence.
There is. A costume test photo of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker was leaked… but unfortunately we’re not allowed to post it here. Sufficed to say, he has a very Obi-Wan Kenobi look about him with robes and a beard. Why go through the trouble of dressing him like that, not to mention contractually obligating him to grow a beard, when he’ll just be wearing a mask the whole movie?
Furthermore, there is literal on screen proof from what we’ve seen that Luke isn’t Kylo Ren. First and foremost, there’s this shot from the last two trailers:
That’s clearly Luke’s cybernetic hand resting on R2-D2. And the robes pretty much match what was in the leaked photo.
There’s also these behind the back shots of an unmasked Kylo Ren attacking Finn… and that’s very much Adam Driver’s hair we’re seeing. It would be way too complicated to pull a switcheroo in what we’re assuming is a sequence late in the movie.
So, no. We highly doubt J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are going to pull a Tron Legacy and make Luke the bad guy. After what happened in Return of the Jedi and what we know about events after… we just don’t see it going that way. It’s more likely that the Lucasfilm marketing team is trying to keep that aspect of the film a secret to give the film some mystery, as the search for Luke does seem to be a real driving force (pun intended) in the narrative.