CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Did J.J. Abrams drop a major spoiler about "Star Wars: The Last Jedi?"
Speaking to the New York Daily News last week, the director of 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" described Mark Hamill's performance as Luke Skywalker in the new film as Oscar worthy.
"I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark," Abrams said.
A few things: we're not even sure Abrams has seen the movie yet (Rian Johnson is directing this one) or if he was being somewhat facetious (though he doesn't appear to be). Also, describing an actor's performance as Academy Award caliber is not, in of itself, a direct spoiler.
In eight previous "Star Wars" films spanning 40 years, only one performance earned an Oscar nomination. Sir Alec Guinness was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original 1977 film.
Of course, we all know what happened to Obi-Wan in that film. His death provided the gravitas that lifted it up from being just another space opera, and the kind of emotional currency the Academy eats up.
Abrams himself tried to recreate that in "The Force Awakens." Harrison Ford didn't receive a nomination, but his death scene elevated everything about that film.
Does this all mean Luke dies in "The Last Jedi?"
I mean, would Abrams really describe Hamill's performance as Oscar worthy if he doesn't die? The Academy hasn't nominated a "Star Wars" movie in a major category since Guinness. Hamill would really have to deliver one next-level, kick-ass monologue the likes of which the Academy has ever seen before getting a nomination without Luke being killed off.
Luke dying also fits it into the trilogy's transition from the legacy characters to the likes of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaacs).
Heck, even the title, "The Last Jedi," hints at Luke meeting his maker no matter what those foreign posters for the movie that use the plural form of "Jedi" suggest.
Then again, those posters could be right and Luke lives to see another movie alongside his new Padawan. There are unconfirmed reports the the film will undergo reshoots soon, perhaps to make changes following the death of Carrie Fisher.
One thing is certain: we won't know Luke's fate for certain until "The Last Jedi" hits theaters December 15.
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