There’s an incredibly stupid amount of speculation stinking up the internet that has some people convinced that Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens is really “Evil Luke” and is actually Kylo Ren on the poster. Most Star Wars fans with their heads screwed on right realize how stupid this whole “Luke is Kylo” stuff is, but now it’s begun to spread even further across the internet to pollute Facebook feeds with a dumb Newsly viral video that proclaims the “fact”. On top of that there are actually people who defend the speculators, and doing so is actually a bad thing for Star Wars.
Here are just a couple of the excuses people are using and why they’re wrong:
“There’s nothing wrong with letting them speculate!”
As someone who lived through the Prequel era, and the resulting 16 years of “George Lucas raped my childhood” crap, there definitely is. Allowing speculation based on something that is completely and totally false builds the movie up in their heads to something it isn’t. One of the big complaints many Prequel Haters have with those movies is that they didn’t match the Prequels they made up in their heads. That’s why you have so many people demanding remakes, promoting their stupid fan edits, etc. The “Evil Luke” crowd is going to spend the next 50 days expecting to see Luke zapping people with Force Lightning, and then when they see what he really does in the movie they’ll leave the theater screaming that JJ Abrams raped their childhood.
“JJ Abrams lied about Khan!”
Yes, and he admitted that the whole Khan thing bit him in the ass and probably wouldn’t do it over again if given the chance. That means it’s not the sort of misdirection he would pull with Star Wars. Even then, Khan/John Harrison was the same actor. He didn’t cast Benedict Cumberbatch only to have him tag out for someone else to play Khan after the reveal, but that’s exactly what the “Evil Luke” crazies are suggesting when presented with the fact that Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren. There is a very minor bit of misdirection going on with the marketing, but it has absolutely no connection to Luke other than the Skywalker lightsaber.
“Mark Hamill suggested it on a cable show more than ten years ago!”
More than a decade ago JJ Abrams and Mark Hamill were guests on “Dinner for Five” when Kevin Smith guest hosted. The video actually was spread around a bit last year when some early Kylo Ren concept art that leaked lead people to believe Luke was evil back then, but it’s gone viral again thanks to the stupid “Evil Luke” speculation this week. In it, Hamill explains to Abrams how he thought Luke should don the Vader mask at the end of Return of the Jedi and turn evil. Is it a cool story to go viral with the dumb speculation? Sure. Does it have anything at all to do with the story Lucasfilm, Abrams, and Kasdan came up with for The Force Awakens? Absolutely not.
Here’s why Luke is NOT Kylo Ren, or Evil:
Adam Driver is Kylo Ren.
Mark Hamill is playing Luke Skywalker. Not Evil Luke. Not Emperor Luke. Just Luke.
If you go into The Force Awakens expecting to see “Evil Luke” cutting people down with a red lightsaber, you’re going to probably hate the movie because that’s not the one that Abrams made. Likewise if you expect the movie to be a two-hour Force Unleashed story with Luke ripping Star Destroyers out of the sky or destroying mountains with the Force, you’re probably going to hate it as well. The Force Awakens is about a new generation of characters, and the Original Trilogy cast take on much smaller supporting roles.
The reason why you didn’t see Luke in the poster or the trailer is because Abrams wants the first time you see Jedi Master Luke Skywalker to be on the big screen in the theater. That’s why Disney was so fast with the Cease & Desist orders when an image of Jedi Luke leaked on the internet back in August. He’s not being hidden in the marketing because he’s turned evil, and it’s most definitely not because he’s Kylo Ren.
Speculation is fine when the facts don’t contradict it. When there are non-spoiler facts staring at you in the face, pushing a stupid theory just because it gets you social media engagement or website clicks is actually harmful to Star Wars and the fandom as a whole. So stop it with the “Luke is Kylo” crap. It’s just making you look stupid and you’ll look like an even bigger idiot on December 18th.