His absence in trailers and posters has not gone unnoticed and Abrams is grateful. "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," he said. "Certainly Luke is a very important aspect of the story."
While he will not divulge the status of the character at the center of Star Wars, he did introduce the idea that much like the Dark Times and the Old Republic, the events of the original trilogy would seem mythical and distant. "They'd be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not," he said of Luke, Leia and Han. "They'd be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale."
For new characters Finn and Rey, that mythical status plays out in their upbringing. Rey, left on desert planet Jakku, has no idea of galactic affairs. Finn, a member of the First Order, has some idea who Luke Skywalker is, if perhaps, skewed by the context of his instructors.
And though recent marketing efforts have revealed plenty about the film. Abrams is happy to keep Skywalker inside his Mystery Box. "We've tried to give people a taste. But you've got to be careful that you don't start to give too many bites," he explained. "They can start to get full. They can start to feel like they've seen the whole movie before they have."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will end some speculation when it arrives on December 18th.