The question is not where Luke Skywalker is, but who has Luke Skywalker become?
That was what Disney Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wanted director J.J. Abrams to address in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Decades after the war, what has happened to the revered hero played by Mark Hamill?
Abrams offered his heavily guarded answer to Entertainment Weekly in an interview, but the more interesting response comes from the film's new star, John Boyega.
Boyega told the magazine that although Finn, who was born into the new First Order, was told to fear Skywalker and resent his very being, it's the idea of the Force that surrounded the Jedi knight that made Finn question everything he knew.
"He's been taught about Luke Skywalker, he knows about his history," Boyega said. "For him it's like joining the army and then learning about one of [the] great enemies of your country."
The article also confirmed that the infamous blue lightsaber Finn can be seen wielding in various photos and trailers did indeed belong to Skywalker. According to EW's Anthony Breznican, "it's an important piece of the puzzle that will reveal Luke's fate and whereabouts."
...joining the army and then learning about one of great enemies of your country
What that fate is, however, is still unknown and it doesn't look like Abrams is going to reveal much more about his arc, but wanted to reassure readers that Hamill does play a big role in the movie.
"We've tried to give people a taste," Abrams said. "But you have to be careful that you don't start to give too many bites. They can start to feel like they've seen the whole movie before they have."
Still, Abrams admitted that the idea of who Luke Skywalker has become is what drew him to the director's role in the first place.
"It was the thing that struck me the hardest, which was the idea that doing a story that took place nearly 40 years after Jedi meant that there would be a generation for whom Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia would be as good as myth," Abrams said.
The director added that he liked the idea of new characters like Rey and Finn growing up with no knowledge of these characters outside of the stories and propaganda they were told.
Whether or not Luke has turned to the dark side or has continued to lead a life of good is up for debate, but he certainly hasn't been forgotten. It'll be a journey of both self-discovery and discovering the truth behind the lies they've been told.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Dec. 18.