Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed in theaters, Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams toyed with a number of ideas in regards to what the film should explore. A previously released piece of concept artwork has resurfaced which reminded fans that early versions of the film included flashbacks to a young Luke Skywalker.
Robert Boulter as Luke Skywalker in deleted forceback sequence for TFA. Let's see if mods delete this again. :) from r/StarWarsLeaks
The above image seems to depict Robert Boulter as Skywalker, who Making Star Wars reported was playing the burgeoning Jedi back in 2015. Fans will almost instantly recognize the outfit above as what Skywalker wore during his confrontation with Vader on Cloud City in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Given the lack of details regarding the source of the above photo, fans are left to speculate about how it factored into the film's plot, with the prevailing theory being that, during Rey's Force-back sequence when she holds Skywalker's lightsaber, she likely would have had a vision of the warrior. It's unclear if we ever would have gotten a full-on look at the character or if the filmmakers would have only used Boulter with the camera far from his face or potentially with his face obscured.
Another theory is that The Force Awakens at one point planned to follow the journey of Luke's lightsaber from the time he lost it on Cloud City to Maz Kanata coming to possess it, a question many fans have had regarding the relic.
Interestingly, this isn't the only piece of concept art from The Force Awakens to reemerge recently, with an image depicting an older Skywalker earning recent attention on social media.
The image, depicting a bearded Skywalker, was posted by artist Christian Alzmann, who also shared the comment, "Luke was being described as a Col. Kurtz type hiding from the world in a cave. I couldn't believe I was getting to make this image and I got a George [Lucas] 'Fabulouso' on it to boot."
Between older Luke and younger Luke, it's clear that Lucasfilm covered all their bases when trying to concoct the best way to depict the hero, ultimately opting to only deliver audiences a moment with him in the film's final scene.
Despite Luke's becoming one with the Force at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hamill is slated to return for Star Wars: Episode IX in some capacity. Episode IX lands in theaters in December of 2019.
Are you glad they cut out a flashback featuring Luke from the film? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!