Five things we’ve learned from the new Star Wars poster

Who’s really turning to the dark side this December?

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The final poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrived over the weekend, and it’s safe to say it’s blown our tiny little fan minds as we wait for the accompanying trailer later today.

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From a new doomsday weapon to Leia’s snazzy hairdo, there was plenty to enjoy in the new tableau – but upon closer inspection, we reckon we might have spotted one or two more clues that could inform us about the details of the film.

Take a look below, and see if you agree …


1. Luke is gone – but where?

This is the big question – we hadn’t seen Mark Hamill’s farm boy-turned Jedi Master in any trailers for the new movie (except for the above glimpse of someone with the requisite metal hand who may be him), and now he is nowhere to be found on the poster. So what gives? Han, Leia, Chewie, C-3PO and R2-D2 all made it on.

There are two possible answers to this. One is that Luke isn’t in the film much at all, possibly just turning up at the end (as is rumoured) to allow Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia to deal with the lion’s share of the story. After all, it’s also been suggested that the Solo family could be a main focus of this movie, with a few cast members including Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley’s Rey rumoured to be secret offspring of a certain stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder. It could be that Luke is being saved for the sequels. 

Alternatively, we might not be seeing Luke because something has happened to him that the filmmakers want to keep a surprise. In the only image we’ve seen that might be him (above), his robotic hand is looking distinctly less human-like than the last time we saw it (below), and the rest of him is cloaked. Could fighting for freedom have taken its toll on Luke somehow, possibly damaging or injuring him?

Or maybe Luke has started to take after his dear old dad Vader in more ways than his handiness with a lightsaber (and prosthetic limbs) – an awful lot of fans reckon Luke might have turned to the dark side in this film, and that he’s being hidden to keep that twist under wraps. In fact, maybe he’s even the one behind Kylo Ren’s mask in the poster and Adam Driver is just a big ol’ misdirect. It’s possible!

Still, surely JJ Abrams couldn’t break fans’ hearts that much… could he?


2. A lot of the baddies are missing too

If Luke has turned evil, a lot of his dark side pals seem to have avoided the poster too – for one, there’s still no sign of Any Serkis’ top villain (and motion-capture character, above) Supreme Commander Snoke, who is clearly being kept back as a surprise for the film’s release.

But Domnhall Gleeson’s General Hux also seems to have shunned the poster limelight, despite us getting a pretty good look at him already (above) – was he just cut because of space? And could his exclusion mean we’re overreacting to the loss of Luke, with a few important but not central characters being left off the poster?

That said, Maz Kanata still made it on…


3. This is probably Lupita Nyong’o

We don’t know that the little alien on the poster is definitely the 12 Years a Slave actress’ motion-capture character Maz Kanata, but it seems likely. The pirate chief is apparently a pretty important character in the story (delivering a lost lightsaber that seems to kick off the action), and what we’ve seen of Kanata so far – namely little orange arms and what looks like a big round eye, below – would seem to fit with this figure on the poster.


4. Daisy Ridley could turn to the dark side

OK, this might look like we’re a little obsessed with the heroes going over to the dark side – but hear us out. The way that Daisy Ridley’s Rey is standing in this poster is telling, with her fighting staff placed perfectly parallel to Kylo Ren’s funky lightsaber (see below) and the character herself towering over most of the cast (except Kylo). 

Considering her placing and prominence in the poster, is it too much to speculate that Rey’s story might be fairly central to the Force Awakens, and that it might deal with her being tempted by the dark side after helping the heroes? Perhaps by the only other figure larger than her in the poster, whom she’s also been arranged in tandem with – Kylo Ren. On the other hand, you could see her staff as directly clashing with Kylo’s lightsabre, suggesting she is fighting against the dark side…

Working in parallel?

As noted previously, online rumours suggest that Rey could be related to Han Solo and Princess Leia, meaning she would probably have a powerful connection to the Force through her mother. Sure, John Boyega’s Finn is the one wielding the lightsaber in the poster (and some short preview clips), but that could all be a misdirect. Perhaps it’s really Rey who is the second new hope for the galaxy – or the dark side.


5. There’s a new Death Star

We’ve discussed this in more detail elsewhere, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again – because apparently you’re not a Star Wars baddie unless you’ve stuck a gun on a planet to look tough. 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on UK cinemas on 18 December