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Theories behind Luke's absence from Star Wars 7 so far

Fans have sensed a disturbance in the Force... and it's called Luke Skywalker. After Luke didn't appear on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie poster, fans were a bit confused, but hopeful. Now that the Jedi hero is absent from the film's final full-length trailer, even after providing a voiceover on an earlier teaser trailer, fans are now busy concocting crazy theories about why Luke seems to be Star Wars' persona non grata. Here are a few reasons why old man Luke might be hiding from the cameras.

Obi-Wan Skywalker

It would make a lot of sense if old Luke has taken on the same seclusion strategies as his previous mentors. The desert-dwelling Ben Kenobi took up residence on a planet no one cared about, and Yoda lived in a dirt hut in an impossibly dense swamp. The recluse theory makes even more sense when theorists take into account some leaked Kylo Ren dialogue from earlier, which suggests that a "last Jedi" is out there somewhere, and being hunted. Jedi needed to hide themselves from dark forces in the original trilogy too, after all. They're like the red-headed stepchildren of space religions.

RIP, Luke

Luke, a Rebel hero, made thousands of enemies by being a powerful Jedi. He also happens to be a guy who killed many thousands of Death Star employees. Even if the whole "exploding moon-sized space stations" thing was for a good cause, Luke Skywalker is a mass murderer, and it's probably not too easy to escape the sheer number of people and aliens out for his blood. Did Luke survive the last thirty years, or did someone actually slay the Jedi? It's not impossible that Mark Hamill's appearances at table reads and in voiceovers weren't for the film's main action, but instead to fill in flashback portions of the 30-year gap between movies.

Luke Skywalker, Jedi Spirit

If Luke is dead, and he died while remaining faithful to his Jedi ways, his new appearance would be revealingly blue and glowy, like Yoda, Obi-Wan, and his dear old Darth dad. For obvious reasons, Jedi Spirit Luke can't really be appearing on movie posters and trailers without providing a huge giveaway about Luke's fate, even though it would make one heck of an awesome action figure. Is he really blasting womp rats with the angels now? Can Jedi really blast womp rats for fun and expect to be let into Jedi Spirit World?

Darth Skywalker

Lots of Star Wars fans are conjecturing that the man behind the Kylo Ren mask is actually Luke Skywalker, turned to the Dark Side, despite the fact that the actor is credited as Adam Driver. There's plenty to back up this theory, but it would still be a bit ridiculous to tarnish Luke's heroic journey that way. Sure, he'd have good reason to idolize Vader and mimic his ways, and yeah, Luke kind of gave in to the Dark Side during the final moments of Return of the Jedi, and yes, multiple actors played Darth Vader too...but...

Luke Is Actually In The Trailer

See that robotic hand reaching towards R2-D2 about one minute and forty seconds in? Viewers have suggested that this hand actually belongs to Luke Skywalker. While it's true that Luke snagged a wicked robot-hand after Vader chopped his saber-wielding digits off in Empire Strikes Back, it looked like a normal hand, and nothing like that silvery appendage in the trailer. Still, thirty years of wear and tear on a cyborg hand will have an effect, and it's entirely possible that Luke got a replacement during that time. So, is Luke the man with the silvery hand?

Luke-2000

If Luke actually has a new, obviously robotic hand, which is somehow far less technologically advanced than his previous replacement, is it possible that Luke's full physical transformation is so severe that it can't be shown without giving away part of the film's plot? Luke wouldn't be too far off from his father's Vader-y legacy if he's had his various parts replaced with robotic bits. As the similarities between Luke and Anakin develop, will cyborg Luke finally be revealed?

Luke Is Barely In The Movie

While it would really suck for fans, the most likely theory is that Luke just doesn't play a major role in main action of The Force Awakens. Whether he dies very early on, is never alive at all, or only appears at the very end of the film, screen time is never a real indication of the importance of a character. Yoda was barely in the original Star Wars trilogy compared with the rest of the cast, but he's a fan favorite character, and even that brief time on-screen was enough to demonstrate Yoda's completely awesome Jedi-ness. Really, all we want to see is a badass Skywalker beard, even if the heroes just find him in a cave two minutes before the movie ends.

Dramatic Effect, Duh

Honestly, the only real reason that Luke has played hard-to-get with the whole Force Awakens thing is for dramatic effect. Movie producers and promoters know that fans will flock to theaters to see how certain characters evolve or will appear on-screen, and keeping one major secret is the best key to turn in the profit machine. When movie culture is as transparent as it is today, it's hard to keep secrets. So keeping Luke's deal in The Force Awakens under wraps is a feat unto itself. Forget about the Force... the gag order on everyone involved in the film is truly the most powerful force in the universe.