Has Luke Gone to the Dark Side?

Many a fan theory has bestowed the internet about what to expect in the highly anticipated Star Wars sequel, The Last Jedi, ready to hit our cinema screens in December. One theory in particular centres around the motives of our beloved Luke Skywalker and whether his allegiance to the force has developed into something a little darker.

It would be fair to assume that this article will contain some spoilers from the movies so if you haven’t seen any of them yet..  What the hell are you doing here? Go watch the movies and come back to us.

What we know about Luke so far, is that he has been in hiding following the incident which marked the birth of Kylo Ren to the dark side. Saddened and ashamed, Luke retreats to the island of Anch-To where Rey, Chewbacca and R2-D2 find him to return Anakin Skywalker’s lightsabre at the end of The Force Awakens.

The first bought of speculation stemmed from the initial poster given to us from Disney/Lucas Film which features a moody looking Luke alongside Kylo Ren. The use of red in the poster insinuates that the next instalment of the franchise will provide a more ominous tone. With that, and that fact that no other information had been provided about our favourite Jedi, planted a seed of doubt in the minds of its fan base.

But the fans aren’t to blame.  What The Force Awakens gave us was familiar turf and bared significant similarities to The Phantom Menace and A New Hope. An orphan destined for greatness who finds themselves with a difficult choice. Anakin chose the dark side while Luke resisted.  However, now that we have learned the path for Kylo Ren, is it just a matter of time for Luke to fulfil his father’s destiny? And what does that mean for Rey? If, indeed, she is from the same bloodline.

It wasn’t until the first official trailer when The Last Jedi really fuelled the fire and gave fans a reason to believe that Luke is not the optimistic, Rebel fighter we remember.

The line that stands out is Luke saying the words, ‘It’s time for the Jedi to end.’  It’s a line that cannot exactly be taken out of context, unless, of course, Disney wanted you to think that way. For a movie as huge as Star Wars, how can they stop fans from working out the story? Misdirection can be a useful tool in instances like this.

This brings us to a more current version of the poster.  Notice that a hooded Luke looms in the background of the image with, yet another, scornful look. One particular theory floating around the internet recently discusses the repetition of the antagonist featuring predominantly in the background of each poster throughout the series.

Many fans shot this down, claiming that no antagonists are in the background for the Attack of the Clones poster, only a loving image of Anakin and Queen Amidala.  Yet, if you want to be technical, Anakin does become the ultimate big bad and that movie shows us the beginnings of Anakin’s rage.

Other fans insist that Darth Vader was not the villain of Return of the Jedi as he redeems himself in the final moments of the movie. Here, however, I feel people are just clutching the proverbial straw.

Mark Hamill himself recently took to twitter to poke the fire by insinuating that Luke was ‘ALWAYS the villain’. Although, Hamill has a distinct history of teasing fans, especially when it comes to Star Wars.

It wasn’t until the second trailer where we finally reach a bit of clarity to the mindset of Luke and why he is the way he is. Luke feels somewhat responsible for the creation of Kylo Ren and the loss of his sister, Leia, and good friend Han Solo’s only son. When he meets Rey and discovers she has incredible powers, much like Kylo Ren, he becomes wary of history repeating itself.

Once again, Luke says a line that cannot be taken out of context and will fortify his motive and feelings toward the the force and the Jedi, ‘I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It’s didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.’ Luke has become a pessimistic hermit, spending several years alone on a giant rock. He wants it all to end and the only way to do that is if the Jedi do not exist

While I’m quietly confident that Luke is still pure good, if not a grumpy sad-sack, a piece of visual prop would test my theory to it’s limits.  IMAX recently published a first look at their new display stand that will be used in selected cinemas.  Can someone please tell me why Luke appears on both the good and evil version of the poster?

What are your thoughts on Luke Skywalker? Is he still good or will he follow in his father’s footsteps and submit to the dark side? Send us your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter and may the force be with you.