The only thing we really know about Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, aside from the fact that he's actually in the movie, is that we don’t know anything. J.J. Abrams has said that Luke's omission from marketing material is not an accident, and Mark Hamill admitted that if he blabs about a particular secret he’ll be out some serious money due to a stipulation in his contract. So what is the secret? Here are a few of the possibilities we came up with.
He's EvilThis is the one that seems to be getting the most traction. The logic goes that J.J. Abrams can’t show us Luke Skywalker because if he does he’ll look less like we remember him, and more like his father, or possibly even Kylo Ren. While not everybody here ascribes to the theory, it is one possibility. Luke has been fighting against the Dark Side his entire life and after 30 years it’s certainly possible that he lost the struggle somewhere along the way and headed down that path.
He Has KidsThe only time we’ve heard the voice of Luke Skywalker so far was in the second trailer. His voice over talks about how the Force is strong in his family, and he speaks of his father, himself, his sister, and somebody else. While it’s not clear who he’s talking about, he is almost certainly talking to another member of the Skywalker family. While most will assume Luke is more likely to have a niece or nephew than a child of his own, it has been 30 years, so who knows? It’s possible he met somebody in that time. Also, it would give Luke the chance to say, "I am your father." As this character would likely be in their early twenties at this point, our two new leads, Finn and Rey, are the obvious top candidates for "Child of Skywalker."
He’s Going To Die (In The Force Awakens)While this one doesn’t explain Luke being MIA from the advertising, it would still be a huge secret that Mark Hamill would be forced to keep. What if Luke doesn’t survive to the next film. Much of the focus of this new trilogy has been on the return of the classic characters, but what if Luke is going to play a significantly smaller role going forward? The fact that we know Luke will be appearing in Episode VIII doesn’t really give us that much to go. Alec Guinness was in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi too. Perhaps Luke will only be back as a Force Ghost.
He’s Hiding From The First OrderMaybe the reason that we don’t know what’s going on with Luke Skywalker, is because nobody knows where he is, that's one rumor that has been circulating since near the beginning. The Empire killed most of the Jedi between episodes three and four, and a few like Obi-Wan and Yoda survived by going into hiding in remote corners of the galaxy. If the First Order is also chasing down Jedi like Luke, he may have taken a page from their playbook and gone deep undercover. Is Jakku enough of an out of the way place to hide?
He’s Protecting SomethingIt’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything regarding this rumor, but several months ago the word was that Luke Skywalker is missing from much of the film because he was busy protecting something of great power and keeping it from falling into the wrong hands. It could be some sort of ancient relic or a Sith temple, but regardless the idea is that there’s something out that the First Order would love to get their mitts on, but Luke is determined to stop them. Whatever it is he’s guarding will likely play a large part in future films, so giving this away would likely spoil more than just this movie.