Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly released new photos from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with a number of new plot details that already have fans giddy with excitement. The site's massive report includes the confirmation that director Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will not take the helm for Star Wars: Episode IX, along with more information on the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). There are also some more details that offer more questions than answers, but are intriguing nonetheles.
The story takes place 30 years after the Empire finally fell to the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, but in the Empire's place, a new organization known as The First Order has sprouted up. The X-wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is part of a "splinter group" known only as the Resistance. But perhaps one of the most interesting details revealed in Entertainment Weekly's story is the fact that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) now possesses the lightsaber that was once held by her father Darth Vader and her brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). This is the lightsaber that Luke lost when Vader cut off his hand in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
It's worth noting that there were early rumors which teased that the opening moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens center on a lightsaber that falls out of the sky and lands in the desert, where it is retrieved by Finn (John Boyega). This leads to Finn teaming up with Daisy, who then encounter Han Solo, who recognizes the lightsaber as his old pal Luke Skywalker's weapon. Now, it's possible that the film still opens in this fashion, and Leia "comes into possession" of this lightsaber later, but we don't know for sure.
As for Han Solo, the site reveals that he is one of the lead characters, and that eventually Han and Chewbacca will join forces with Finn, Rey and their ball droid BB-8 aboard the Millennium Falcon. It still isn't clear how much screen time Han Solo and Princess Leia will have in the movie. Then again, even these tiny tidbits of information are more than we have for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who still hasn't been seen in any of the trailers or the behind-the-scenes footage. As mysterious as Skywalker's role is, producer Kathleen Kennedy revealed that one simple question about Luke Skywalker was apparently enough to convince J.J. Abrams to come on board and direct.
"In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him, 'Who is Luke Skywalker?' He said, 'Oh my God, I just got the chills. I'm in,' I mean, it really was almost that quickly."
Since that one fateful question was so important to J.J. Abrams, it's easy to see why Luke Skywalker's character has been shrouded in so much mystery. What do you think of these new details? How much do you think Luke will have changed between Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more details from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, hitting theaters December 18.