SALT LAKE CITY — Luke Skywalker, long considered the hero of the Star Wars universe, is being accused of the going to the dark side in the next film, “The Last Jedi.”
Speculation about Skywalker’s fate have circulated the internet since news broke that the Star Wars series would return with “The Force Awakens” in 2015. Theories ballooned when Skywalker didn’t say a word in the entire film. A long-running theory says Skywalker went to the dark side in “Return of the Jedi.”
With two trailers and a handful of movie posters now out, internet users are speculating once again about Skywalker’s fate.
And a lot of evidence points to Skywalker, like his father before him, joining the dark side.
The first and most apparent piece of evidence begins with the movie’s posters. As tweeters have shared, Skywalker sits alone in the backdrop of the poster, much like Darth Vader did in the original trilogy posters and how Darth Maul did in “The Phantom Menace” and Vader did again in “Revenge of the Sith.”
Fans also pointed out how the new “Last Jedi” poster shows Darth Vader’s mask.
“The discovery of the figure has opinions from the Star Wars fandom on the internet split. Some fans think it may have been done intentionally in order to represent both the light and dark sides. Others think that some fans are looking too far into the art and finding an outline of something that isn’t there,” according to FanFest.
Hamill humorously poked fun at the speculation of his dark side turn in a tweet.
And Hamill also joked in an interview with Empire that he would love to play Skywalker’s evil twin.
“It’d be great because you could maybe not reveal its Evil Luke until the real Luke shows up,” Hamill said. “We could watch this guy undermining the good guys secretly — maybe even killing a supporting character out of everyone’s sight, so they all go, ‘What’s going on? He’s crazy!’ And then, of course, the good Luke shows up.”
As The Inverse reported, Lucasfilm seems to be pushing the dark side twist, too, seemingly creating the idea that Skywalker will have to choose between the dark and light side of the force.
But as Ben Child of The Guardian posits, there is good reason to think that Skywalker really has turned to the dark side. Aside from the poster speculation, Child cites two factual pieces of evidence that make a good case for Skywalker’s turn.
For one, he pointed to the often-repeated story that JJ Abrams joined the new Star Wars films when Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy asked him to answer the question, “Who is Luke Skywalker?”
Unlike Han Solo, who remained relatively unchanged between the original trilogy and “The Force Awakens,” the writers may have decided to totally switch up Skywalker’s character and beliefs to breathe new life into the franchise.
The other reason actually connects back to “The Empire Strikes Back.”
There’s a scene toward the end of the film when Skywalker ditches his training with Yoda and Obi-Wan, choosing to save his friends. Both Obi-Wan and Yoda warn Skywalker about the dark side.
“But, if Luke really should fall to the dark side, the tensions of the original trilogy are enhanced, and those moments in which our hero impulsively opts to ignore the advice of his mentors could take on new significance,” Child wrote. “There has never been any real payback for the Jedi knight following the impulsive decision to leave his training partway through and fly to the defence of his friends in 'The Empire Strikes Back.' But if Skywalker finally succumbs to the dark side, that oversight might be both retrospectively explained and given lasting significance.”
Still, it's unclear if Skywalker turned to the dark side. It could be a marketing ploy from Lucasfilm or fans may have truly figured out a great twist ahead of time.
Guess we’ll have to wait until “The Last Jedi” premieres to figure it out. Dec. 15 can't come fast enough.