Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Does Luke Skywalker join the Dark Side?

Star Wars: The Force awakens will be in cinema on December 17th. And yes, I'll be watching the first screening in Malaysia at Pavilion.

The biggest mystery so far is the absence of Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker. Fans have noticed that Luke Skywalker is conspicuously absent. We all know that Mark Hamill is back as the hero of the original trilogy. But why haven’t we seen any definitive shots of him in the teasers and trailers? Even for the People's new Star Wars special issue where Disney helped design the exclusive magazine cover was the obvious absence of Luke Skywalker.

In a reworking of the movie's much buzzed-about poster, Han Solo and Princess-turned-General Leia are now front-and-center to help celebrate the legacy of the saga, along with the new faces in the galaxy and, of course, Leia's latest stunning hairdo. Impressive, most impressive. But THERE'S STILL NO LUKE SKYWALKER.

The closest clue of Luke Skywalker's presence in the movie was the shot of a cloaked figure touching R2-D2 with a mechanical right hand.

A clocked figure with a mechanical right hand touching R2-D2, definitely fit into Luke Skywalker's persona

Could it possibly be that Luke joins the Dark Side? Some have even speculated that he’s Kylo Ren, or perhaps that he’s Kylo Ren’s mentor, an over-arching “big bad” for the new trilogy, like Emperor Palpatine.

Here are some of the theories on why he might have turn to the Dark Side and why he would not that I've found circulating on the net recently...


Kylo Ren
There's a lot of speculation that Mark Hamill might be the man under the intimidating mask. But I think not as there are just so many holes in that theory. The most obvious is that Adam Driver was cast as Kylo Ren. And while the lightsaber being used might look awesome, it looks like it was made by someone self-taught, who still had some kinks to work out. It definitely doesn't look like it was made by Luke, who had shown himself in Return of the Jedi that he knows how to build a pretty slick lightsaber, with a flawless, smooth blade.


If Luke turn to the dark side in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams better give us a good reason because so far, Luke has avoided the Dark Side at all cost. In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader first used blood ties to try to convince Luke to turn to the Dark Side. 

Darth Vader is revealed as Luke's father

Of course, Luke was hesitant to believe at first that what Vader was saying was true, that Vader was his father. But Luke’s gut-wrenching, “Noooooooo,” certainly feels like his admission that it’s probably true. But he chose to drop into the abyss, knowing even if death greeted him at the bottom, at least he didn’t turn to the Dark Side.

Again, in Return of the Jedi, he made a similar choice. He had defeated Darth Vader, returned the favor with a severed hand, and along came the Emperor. Just as Palpatine did with Anakin and Count Dooku, the Emperor tried to convince the Jedi to go against his teachings and kill an unarmed foe. Where Anakin gave in, Luke did not, even at the expense of Palpatine trying to kill him.


Star Wars has always been a movie surrounding the Skywalker family. Probably there is evil in the Skywalker blood – or midichlorians. The Jedi tried to keep Anakin Skywalker from giving in to his darker instincts. Obi Wan put his life on the line on Mustafar in a last-ditch effort to convince his former Padawan to return to his life with Padme and the Jedi he had suddenly slaughtered and left behind. Yoda always knew there was something amiss with him, even as a young child. Yoda also had concerns about Luke during his training on Dagobah, constantly referring to him as reckless – a quality that definitely could have also applied to his father.

And then there was Luke’s vision on Dagobah. In it, after disobeying Yoda and taking his lightsaber, he walked through the dark jungle into a cave and suddenly came upon Vader, who at that time Luke did not yet know was his father. A short lightsaber battle ensued before Luke slashed Vader’s head clean off. And when Luke looked at the severed head, it exploded to reveal his own head within the mask. Foreshadowing, anyone? Like father, like son. So, it might still be possible that Luke will turn to the Dark side but JJ Abrams has to come out with a good theory to convince us if he ever did join the Dark Side.


Luke Skywalker had a very limited Jedi training in comparison to all the other Jedis we have seen. Maybe Luke's training didn't stick.

We saw what happened to Anakin when the Jedi Council decided to bend the rules and let him become a Padawan at an older age, thus truncating his training. The Jedi were all about rules and guidelines, in order to keep their ranks pure and dedicated to the end. Younglings, very young children, first had to undergo Initiate Trials and undergo a rite of passage called The Gathering before they could be declared a Padawan and be teamed with a Jedi Knight or Master. Anakin was thought to be too old and didn’t endure the Youngling stage.

Luke didn’t have any of that. He wasn’t even a child when he first came to Yoda – he was 22, which was about 13 years older than even his father was when he began his training. And Jedi training lasts years before they’re promoted to Knight. Luke had little more than a year between first meeting Yoda and facing his father for the last time. So clearly there were gaps in Luke’s training that could have left plenty of room for the Dark Side to seep in.


While this is definitely a good attribute, the fact that he puts priority in saving his friends but just as his father, Anakin too shoved aside “the Jedi Way” on a number of occasions, slaughtering Tusken Raiders, marrying Padme, killing Count Dooku when he was unarmed.

The fact that Luke abandoning his training, albeit temporarily, was an omen of a slippery slope – one that would lead to other post-Return of the Jedi instances of Luke bypassing Jedi principles, ultimately leading to a fall to the Dark Side.