Anakin Skywalker may have thought he brought balance to the Force at the end of the Return of the Jedi, but if wild rumors are to be believed, he’s not quite done haunting his son, Luke Skywalker, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
According to the three-planet rumor from March 21 on Star Wars News.Net, Luke Skywalker will question his faith in the Force. Specifcally, the report claims that “He’s even questioning the teachings of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin.” Rabid fan theorists have already lighted upon the phrasing of this to specifcally imply that Anakin, in addition to Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi has trained Luke. Obviously, by the time of The Last Jedi Anakin is straight up dead, because we all saw him die in Luke’s arms in Return of the Jedi, meaning only Anakin’s ghost could be responsible for these last minute supposed training courses. Leaving aside the idea that this rumor could be true, is it even feasible?
To be clear, the current notion that Anakin’s ghost has trained Luke Skywalker is based off of an interpretation of a synopsis of a rumor. If I was a journalist who actually lived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Luke and his family could probably come at me for libel. But, since they’re not real and/or long dead, lets give this a shot. Could Anakin’s ghost have retroactively “trained” Luke in the ways of the Force after Return of the Jedi and before or during The Force Awakens? Weirdly, the answer is yes.
Think about it this way: if we view the new Star Wars trilogy films as being direct sequels to Return of the Jedi, then the ghost of Anakin doing all sorts of things, while unlikely, is a thematically viable idea. The very last shot of Return of the Jedi shows three friendly Force ghosts: Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin. In the sequel to Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren makes it clear he’s been chatting with the ghost of his grandfather, i.e. Anakin Skywalker. If you’re a big fan of Anakin’s ghost, all of this would read as almost 100% confirmation that Anakin’s ghost will be seen in the shimmering blue ghost-flesh in the The Last Jedi.
From a storytelling perspective, saying Anakin could “train” Luke might be the wrong verb. It’s not like Luke needs to figure out new ways of swinging lightsabers or getting in touch with his feelings. But could Anakin give Luke advice and chat from beyond the grave? Sure. Why not. Plus, there’s precedent for other people doing the same thing, specifically Anakin’s former BFF, Obi-Wan.
But if Star Wars fans search their true feelings, Anakin’s ghost doesn’t feel like it’s going to happen in The Last Jedi, even if it should or could. And it’s because of any rules about the Force. Instead, common sense says that because of the polarizing view of the prequels and Hayden Christensen in specific, we’re not getting Anakin in The Last Jedi. And until the zeitgeist at large and embrace Hayden as Vader, in the selfless style of Luke, it stands to reason that Anakin’s ghost is most likely going to remain, quietly, anonymous.