Ever since the new, seemingly Luke Skywalker-less trailer for The Force Awakens debuted on Monday night, one fan theory has dominated all the others. The reason we don’t see Luke in the trailer or the official poster, suggest the Guardian, theHollywood Reporter, Vulture, and many others, is that he has followed his father’s footsteps to the Dark Side and joined the Sith.
As evidence, the Guardian points to the 1991 Dark Empire series of comics that had Luke teaming up with a reincarnated Emperor Palpatine (while noting that such stories were non-canonical). Adding more fuel to the widespread recirculation has been a 2005 episode of IFC’s Dinner for Five, during which you can watch Mark Hamill “basically pitch evil Luke Skywalker to J.J. Abrams,” as the headline at the A.V. Clubput it. In the video, Hamill describes to Kevin Smith (while Abrams listens in) how he once suggested Evil Luke to George Lucas for Return of the Jedi:
As an actor that would be more fun to play. I just thought that’s the way it was going from when we finished [Empire]. I figured that’s what will be the pivotal moment. I’ll have to come back, but it will be I have Han Solo in my crosshairs and I’ll be about to kill him or about to kill the Princess or about to kill somebody that we care about. It’s an old cornball movie, like World War II movies.I think there’s one clear reason that this theory is almost certainly bunk: Luke’s clothes.