December 5, 2014 – In the climactic father-son confrontation of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), we see Luke Skywalker’s blue lightsaber – along with his right hand – tumble away into the giant shaft below.
Click or cue here to 05:32
Have you ever wondered whatever happened to Luke’s lightsaber? (Well, actually, it was Anakin’s lightsaber, but that’s another storyline.) Did it just fall from the City in the Clouds and burn up in Bespin’s atmosphere? Did it somehow float away into space? Or did smugglers find and recover it?
We just might find out in Episode VII (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Stop reading if you don’t want to read any potenial spoilers or rumors on an opening scene in Episode VII (You’ve been warned!):
According to various sources, including Star Wars Fanpedia, “Kira” (played by Daisy Ridley) rescues the character played by John Boyega from his downed TIE fighter and/or from a brig. Boyega is a stormtrooper with a troubled conscience, disturbed by the Empire’s harsh tactics. They might be accompanied by a captured X-Wing pilot, who escapes the brig with them.
Star Wars Fanpedia reports:
When they [Kira, Boyega’s stormtrooper character and the Rebel pilot] meet up with Han Solo, Kira shows him the lightsaber, which Han recognizes as the lightsaber of Luke Skywalker — a lightsaber (and, presumably, an old friend) he hasn’t seen in many years. Han is concerned about what this means for his old buddy, and takes the trio to the nearest Rebel Alliance base (still not sure if that’s what they’re calling themselves), where they meet the Alliance leader: Princess Leia Organa.”
Princess Leia is at a Rebel base with C-3PO and R2-D2 when Han Solo and his party (Kira, Boyega and Rebel pilot) arrive:
Leia helps the group safely leave the desert planet, and they set out to return the lightsaber to Luke—and find out what happened to him.”
Luke has seemingly disappeared for the last 30+ years, since the conclusion of Return of the Jedi (1983). The significance of the long-lost lightsaber will be disclosed as further rumors and tips arise.
UPDATE on 16 April 2015
The newest official trailer (No. 2) for Star Wars: The Force Awakens appears to confirm, in part, some of the rumors about the central role of Luke’s missing lightsaber, which we discussed over four months ago (5 Dec 2014).
Watch the trailer and try to determine the gender(s) of the person handing over the lightsaber hilt – and the person receiving it (cue to 0:50):
Abraham Riesman at Vulture.com provides his screenshot-by-screenshot analysis of trailer No. 2. Riesman notes that during Luke’s voiceover, when someone hands over the lightsaber and Luke says, “My sister has it …” (referring to the Force), the recipient appears to have a lady’s hands. Riesman further surmises this is “probably not Leia”, with which we would have to agree, even though the voiceover says, “You have that power, too.”
The recipient’s hands appear to be young and feminine. And Leia is now in her senior years and, perhaps, a queen by now (“Queen Leia”!). The big mystery is: Who is the owner of those young, feminine hands? Is it “Rey” (Daisy Ridley, who the rumor mills previously thought was named “Kira”)? And is the handover symbolic of the transfer of power between generations as the new trilogy focuses on the younger generation?
We suspect that there will be a summertime trailer (No. 3) that might fill in some of our knowledge gaps, and maybe even a fourth trailer during the frenetic build-up of excitement before the Winter Holidays. But before long, December 18th will be upon us, and we can stop speculating and simply enjoy the show.