Symbolic Roles Only For Princess Leia & Luke Skywalker As “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Trailer Arrives

Can we assume that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will only have minor, symbolic roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens or is J.J. Abrams, a genius movie marketeer, holding back the film’s biggest twists and secrets?

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Fans went bananas – including me – when JJ Abrams introduced the world to the latest full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday. Promising to smash all box office records, the latest sequel in the Star Wars franchise has the potential to be the best since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

Not least because George Lucas has relinquished directorial duties (something he was never very good at) and the task of writing the script (dialogue being another problematic area for the great storyteller) but because the original trilogy’s principle characters – and the actors who played them – return for more adventure in a galaxy far, far away.

While fans have been busily discussing the merits of the latest trailer on social media and elsewhere around the internet, the biggest question on my lips: where the hell is Luke Skywalker?

We know he’s listed in the credits. We know he turned up to the script read-through. We also know Mark Hamill was at ComicCon alongside fellow stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

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But he’s been conspicuously absent from both the full-length trailer and, perhaps more telling, the poster. Cinema Blend has come up with its own ideas behind Skywalker’s mysterious absence including suggesting it’s a JJ Abrams ploy to keep some revelations hidden. Others have argued Hamill just isn’t up to it anymore – who wants “to see a fat Luke Skywalker” said one caustic fan. Indeed, one has to wonder if Hamill has the ability to do it anymore – his careered nose-dived after Return of the Jedi, his filmography peppered with poor, straight-to-video/TV movies and bit-part work.

More likely is that his character – like Princess Leia – will take a backseat role in The Force Awakens. Indeed, their part in the film might be merely symbolic. After all, the next three movies are going to be driven by new, younger characters such as Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega).

Perhaps Luke Skywalker’s absence from the poster and trailer is actually a revelation, not an enigma? In reality, he, like his sister Leia, have a supporting role to play and Abrams is letting us know that our hopes, while being fittingly fervent, should not be based on nostalgia. The Force Awakens is something new…

The full trailer:

Words by Daniel Stephens

What were your thoughts on the trailer? Are you looking forward to the latest film?

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Callum Reply

    Great trailer but I too wondered where Luke was… I think you might be on to something!

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    Rodney Reply

    Wow, now that’s a pretty harsh indictment on poor Mr Hamill. Did nobody see him in Kingsman? I thought he was terrific! I actually think he’s a better actor now than back when he was doing Jedi. His shot in The Flash was truly creepy.

    The two popular theories about Luke’s role in the film are a) he only appears in a big “reveal” moment towards the end, which Abrams and co have wisely kept out of the marketing, or that he’s only in it for a bit before he’s either killed off, or is written out. Keep in mind, Hamilll is billed top of the cast list on the poster, so either he’s pulling a Marlon Brando in Superman, or he has a larger part than we think.

    On, and thanks for the link, Dan! As always, spread the love!

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    Chris Reply

    For me, there hasn’t been a great Star Wars film since Jedi, but I’m definitely curious to learn what happens in E7-E9. I watched the new trailer, which luckily doesn’t give much away. My guess is Luke will play a mentor of sorts.

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