They were the heroes of the original trilogy of "Star Wars." Boy and girls of a generation grew up wanting to be them and everybody knew their names. However, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo are passing on the torch to a new generation of heroes who will contiue the "Star Wars" saga.  

They might be taking on more supportive roles, rather than leading the new films, but director J.J. Abrams says that they still have important roles to play in the next trilogy of the "Star Wars" movies, beginning with "The Force Awakens."

With just 17 more days till the Force finally comes to theaters worldwide, here is a sneak peak of what we know so far about these familiar herores, straight from J.J. Abrams himself.

Luke Skywalker 

The question on everyone's minds is: Why is Luke not in the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" posters, trailers, or any other promotional material?

Abrams once explained that the decision to keep Luke out of the marketing of the new movies was a conscious and deliberate one, but he is still very much a part of the movie. Nevertheless, we'll have to wait and see just what his new role is when the movie comes out.

He has also said that the idea of Luke, who was an icon to kids who grew up watching the "Star Wars" films in the 70's and 80's, but unheard of by today's generation, appealed to him. He wondered if the same could be said of a generation who grew up in the "Star Wars" universe itself. Luke, the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance overturning the rule of Emperor Palpatine - what if the new generation never heard of those heroes and were nothing more than myths to them? This was Abrams's motivation to direct "The Force Awakens."

"Not really knowing who he is or who these characters were was the beginning of what became the story of the film," he said in an interview.  

General Leia Organa

One of the biggest revelations about the original heroes from "Star Wars" was that Princess Leia would no longer be referred to as "Princess" but with her new designated title in the Resistance: General Organa.  However, according to Abrams, one character still slips up.  

Carrie Fisher also described Leia as a woman who has grown more isolated over the years and the wear of fighting is beginning to take its toll on the strong, empowered woman.

"You are who you are naturally, but as you go through life, you harden in some ways, you hopefully become more enlightened in others. Her evolution from princess to general is part of her life experience, but she's always going to be Leia," Abrams also said of the Princess-turned-fighter-turned-General.  

Han Solo

Abrams has revealed during a SiriusXM Town Hall gathering on Monday that of all the Star Wars Original Trilogy characters, Han Solo was his favorite.

In particular, he mentioned a moment in the trailer he found powerful: Han telling newcomers Finn and Rey that the Force is real. Back in "A New Hope," Han was just a few feet away from where he was standing in the Millennium Falcon, saying the exact opposite about the Force.

"It's so cool to think that there's a character that gets to live on in a movie who goes from being such a doubter and nonbeliever into someone who's, I wouldn't say an evangelist, but who's validating this stuff that was so powerful and this idea that was so strong," Abrams shared.  

And by the way, Abrams is on team "Han shot first."

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens on Dec. 18 in theatres worldwide.  

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