Luke Skywalker Is ‘Significantly Important’ To The Ongoing Star Wars Saga

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It’s December 2015 and I’m sitting in a theatre very much enjoying The Force Awakens. Han, Leia, Chewie and all the rest have shown up and the plot looks to be rocketing towards a climax. Just one worry remains at the back of my mind: “Where the hell is Luke?” It wasn’t until the final shot of the movie that that question was answered, as Rey journeyed to a remote island to find a bearded, robed Luke who looked like a man that’s seen a lifetime of sadness. But now that the re-introductions are out of the way, it’s nice to hear that Luke Skywalker is to play a critical role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The confirmation comes courtesy of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Mark Hamill, who were speaking at the Star Wars Celebration panel for The Last Jedi earlier this morning. Hamill began by saying:

To a certain extent, it’s not Luke’s story anymore. But I think he’s an important part of the overall arc of the Saga, and again there’s a lot of mystery about him even within the film. So you have to fill in your own back story.

Midway through, Kennedy interrupted Hamill to underline that Luke “is so significantly important to this next film.” Now, this isn’t the biggest surprise in the world. We’ve known for a while that a substantial portion of the upcoming instalment is devoted to Luke training Rey in Jedi skills and, though the today’s excellent teaser plays it pretty cagey in actually showing us Luke, the character’s fingerprints are all over it. Then there’s the striking poster also released today, in which Luke’s face balefully stares out above his heroic new padawan.

Still, it’s nice to have confirmation that despite the rush to flesh out relative newcomers to the franchise like Poe, Finn, Kylo Ren, etc., we’re still very much going to be following the Skywalker family saga to its conclusion, whatever it may be.

Star Wars Episode: The Last Jedi explodes onto cinema screens with the power of a Death Star laser on December 15th.

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