The big news of the day is that Luke Skywalker’s hand is cut off in a conflict just before Star Wars: Episode VII begins. The opening shot of the film not a ship flying over our heads into camera, but a hand in space, clutching a lightsaber. We know a ship crashes on the desert planet. We know Daisy Ridley and John Boyega’s characters find the hand clutching a lightsaber. The saber informs the new heroes who they must return the hand and saber to. Presumably if the saber is found, something bad must have happened to Luke and there are instructions on who to contact should such an event occur.
The new film is about “handing” off the saga to a new cast of heroes. They’re literally and symbolically handing off the saga to these new heroes as these new kids take on the responsibility of the hand of Skywalker. They find Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand and that brings them to the quest that will save the galaxy. Luke Skywalker was given his laser sword by Obi-Wan Kenobi. The new heroes stumble upon the magic of the Force and the weapon of a Jedi in the wilderness.
The hand in question is of the utmost importance to the core of the previous three episodes. Luke Skywalker loses his hand running into a battle he wasn’t ready to take on in The Empire Strikes Back. His hand is replaced with a robotic one. Upon confronting his father and the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, Luke looks down at his mechanical hand. He realizes he is becoming his father if he fights and gives into hatred. He throws down his laser sword. His father remembers the man he used to be and he sacrifices himself to stop the Sith once and for all.
Now that hand is saving the galaxy once again. Because without our new heroes, surely the galaxy is doomed.
I think that’s rather beautiful if it pans out. I think it respects the poetry of the saga far more than it diminishes any fantasy’s pseudoscience. I think it is a genius plot device. I think Luke’s hand taking our new characters along their first step into a much larger world is perfect.