Continuing their “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in-depth stories this week, EW’s next feature article talks with filmmaker J.J. Abrams about Luke Skywalker’s involvement in the story.
Mark Hamill’s iconic character has remained under wraps so far, his face not appearing in any of the promotional material released. Abrams says how other characters perceive Luke in the narrative was one of the biggest draws for him to direct:
“It was the thing that struck me the hardest, which was the idea that doing a story that took place nearly forty years after Jedi meant that there would be a generation for whom Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia would be as good as myth.
They’d be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not. They’d be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale.”
Abrams goes on to specifically cite Daisy Ridley’s Rey, a young scavenger on a remote and desolate planet, who would probably be only barely aware of the man who helped shatter the Empire a lifetime ago:
“To someone who is living alone and struggling without a formal education or support system, who knows what that person in the literal middle of nowhere would have ever heard about any of these things, or would ever know, and how much that person would have to infer and piece together on their own.
So the idea that someone like that would begin to learn that the Jedi were real, and that the Force exists, and that there’s a power in the universe that sounds fanciful but is actually possible, was an incredibly intriguing notion.”
John Boyega’s Finn on the other hand certainly knows who Luke Skywalker is thanks to his Stormtrooper training, but his journey is more about a changing of perceptions rather than discovering one:
“For Finn, he’s been raised from the ashes of the Empire. He’s been taught about Luke Skywalker, he knows about his history. For him it’s like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country. It has that effect on him. But in terms of the Force, and the magical stuff that happens, that is the point where Finn kind of questions what is what. What is the Force, what part does Luke Skywalker play in all of this?”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in cinemas on December 18th.