Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
Mark Hamill reprises the role of Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Noticeably absent from most of the press and promotional materials for the upcoming film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is the presence of the last of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker.
Fans take heart, and relax, because filmmaker J.J. Abrams assures us that Mark Hamill's iconic character plays a pivotal role in "Episode VII" of the Star Wars saga.
"No one forgot about him!" director J.J. Abrams said to EW. "We were hoping people would care, but there are a lot of things that are not on the [movie] poster, as busy as the poster is. Certainly Luke is a very important aspect of the story."
So far, Luke has only appeared shrouded in his hooded robe in the second teaser trailer for the film. Besides that, there have only been set photos leaked to the press revealing a bearded Skywalker, reminiscent of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
But why all the secrecy? J.J. Abrams pulled a similar stunt with his 2013 film "Star Trek Into Darkness" when he kept the identity of the villainous Khan a secret from the press.
The internet is overrun with wild speculation and rumors of the fate of the galaxy's most powerful Jedi, but for the new characters of "The Force Awakens" Luke is only an absent legend present only in wildly-spun yarns.
"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.
"They'd be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur,"Abrams explained."They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not. They'd be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale."
For young Rey (Daisy Ridley) Luke's existence, and that of the Jedi is a ray of light. "To someone who is living alone and struggling without a formal education or support system, who knows what that person in the literal middle of nowhere would have ever heard about any of these things, or would ever know, and how much that person would have to infer and piece together on their own," Abrams said.
"So, the idea that someone like that would begin to learn that the Jedi were real, and that the Force exists, and that there's a power in the universe that sounds fanciful but is actually possible, was an incredibly intriguing notion," Abrams continued.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the correlation between Rey's character and that of Luke Skywalker. Rey, as was Luke in his youth, is a dreamer looking to the horizon. And she has apparently been abandoned on an isolated planet, which is not unlike what happened to Luke when he and his sister were split up and hidden from the Emperor.
However, for someone like Finn (John Boyega), Luke is the fabled enemy. Finn was bred to be a Stormtrooper in the First Order, so what he knows about Luke is that he was their most formidable adversary. This single Jedi, from all the historical accounts and tales, destroyed the Sith and brought down the Galactic Empire.
"For Finn, he's been raised from the ashes of the Empire," said Boyega. "He's been taught about Luke Skywalker, he knows about his history. For him it's like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country. It has that effect on him. But in terms of the Force, and the magical stuff that happens, that is the point where Finn kind of questions what is what. What is the Force, what part does Luke Skywalker play in all of this?"
But where, and more importantly who, is the last of the Jedi Knights in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens?" Is Skywalker the masked man admiring Darth Vader's damaged helmet (photo above)? If so, he could very well have followed in his father's footsteps.
"Fear is the path to the darkside," Jedi Master Yoda said in "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" (1999). In "The Force Awakens," Luke has apparently gone into hiding because he fears how powerful he has become. And he is also fearful that he could turn to the darkside as his father did.
So, if all these story elements are true, is Luke indeed the primary villain in "The Force Awakens?" The photo clearly shows that the hooded figure's right hand is robotic, and resembles Luke's in the teaser trailer.
Also, there is another concept photo, with this character using a red lightsaber. And, as all the fans know, red is color of those lightsabers used by the baddies. It would certainly be an interesting direction for the character.
"I'd like to answer that, but it would give away the secrets of Episode VII," Hamill said to EW. It is more likely that Luke is more akin to Obi-Wan than Vader. Most would wager that Skywalker is in hiding and will emerge to save the day by the film's conclusion.
But Yoda did warn Luke in "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980). "If you end your training now, if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil." And what did Luke do? Well, he ended his training with Yoda and had to complete it on his own.
Is it possible that Yoda's words of warning have come to fruition? Thankfully, the answers are only five weeks away. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens on December 18, with early screenings beginning at 7 p.m. on the 17th.
DID YOU KNOW:
Luke Skywalker was originally scripted to put on Darth Vader's helmet, at the conclusion of "Return of the Jedi" (1983), as his dad passed away, and take on his father's dark fate.
Like Finn, Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) origins were within the structures of the Empire. Originally, Solo was a soldier for the Galactic Empire, before he switched sides and helped free the enslaved Wookies of the planet Kashyyyk, including his friend Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).
It is the discovery of Luke's and Anakin's lightsaber, lost in Cloud City during the climax of "Empire" that sets in motion the events of "The Force Awakens." The lost artifact helps support both the existence of Luke and the Jedi and thus begins the journey to find the lost Jedi Knight.
Luke's lost lightsaber is eventually returned to the former Princess, now General Leia (Carrie Fisher), in "The Force Awakens."
C-3PO has obviously had another accident over the years, because one of his golden arms have been replaced by a red appendage.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be the first film of the series not to open in the month of May.
Director J.J. Abrams said in a 2015 interview that he had an idea to reveal Jar Jar Binks skeletal remains in "The Force Awakens" as an Easter Egg. Did he really do that? Keep your eyes open!
Actor Mark Hamill was the exact same age (63-years-old), while filming "The Force Awakens" as Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) was when he filmed "Star Wars" (1977).
Rey's new droid BB-8 is inspired by artist Ralph McQuarrie's original concepts for R2-D2.
Actor Simon Pegg (Star Trek) does appear in "The Force Awakens," but secrecy shrouds his cameo role.
Actor Gary Oldman auditioned for the role won by Max von Sydow.
One of the biggest internet rumors continues to suggest that Finn is the son of Lando Calrissian.