One beloved Star Wars character could make a return to Episode IX in Force ghost form, and it’s totally going to be Luke Skywalker. On Wednesday, Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill teased as much by tweeting out an image of Luke’s dying moments from The Last Jedi accompanied by the hashtag #Foreshadowing.
Considering that The Force Awakens put a lot of emphasis on Han Solo’s final adventure, and that The Last Jedi did the same for Luke Skywalker, it only stands to reason that the currently untitled Episode IX would do the same for Leia Organa. Supposedly, Colin Trevorrow’s plan was to have Episode IX focus on Leia before Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in December 2016. So because Han Solo is already dead and Lucasfilm openly promised to not put Leia digitally into any future movies, then Episode IX won’t have any of the original Star Wars characters — that is, unless Luke returns as a Force ghost, making good on his promise to haunt his bad, bad nephew Kylo Ren.
From what we can tell, Luke Skywalker’s incredible new Force power allowed him to project a visible but intangible version of himself across the galaxy. During their fight, Luke basically promised that he’d return to haunt Kylo Ren with a warning that echoed what Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movie:
Kylo Ren: I’ll destroy her. And you. And all of it.
Luke Skywalker: No. Strike me down in anger and I’ll always be with you. Just like your father.
So The Last Jedi basically already established that Luke could return. We can’t really expect Han Solo to also appear as a Force ghost, but Luke becoming one makes even more sense when you remember that when he died, his body simply evaporated. It’s the same Jedi “death” we saw happen to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of which reappeared as Force ghosts throughout various movies.
The Last Jedi proved divisive among fans for a number of reasons, but if there’s one thing almost anyone would support, it’s Luke appearing once again as a Force ghost, even if it’s just one scene during which he offers Rey some counsel. We saw the same happen between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke in Return of the Jedi, so for that to happen again in this way seems like the perfect way to wrap up the new trilogy.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.