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Luke Skywalker has gone from hero to MacGuffin.
Filmmaking aficionados know the term, popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, as being an object or mystery that drives the story – more Maltese Falcon than Millennium Falcon. It’s the thing the heroes are trying to find, or understand. It’s the puzzle they’re trying to unlock.
For any Luke Truthers out there, I can assure you: Mark Hamill is definitely in The Force Awakens. But the absence of his face in the trailers and the poster has vexed fans who are wondering: Where is the man once heralded as the last Jedi?
“No one forgot about him!” director J.J. Abrams promises. “We were hoping people would care, but there are a lot of things that are not on the poster, as busy as the poster is. Certainly Luke is a very important aspect of the story.”
That question, Where is Luke?, is one the movie is going to answer. So it can’t very well tell you up front.
From Entertainment Weekly: