'Star Wars Rise of Skywalker' Spoilers: What Force Ghost Luke Means for Rey
Mark Hamill has confirmed that Luke Skywalker is indeed dead and will only appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as a Force Ghost. The Skywalker legacy may finally be put to rest, but Luke still has a job to do as a Jedi Master. Much like his Jedi masters before him, he might just bestow a final token of wisdom and appear to one of these two important characters in Episode IX before he disappears forever.
If it were up to Hamill, he’d have been done with Star Wars after The Last Jedi. Of course, Luke wasn’t your average man. He was a Jedi and there are rules that govern his legacy even after death. Speaking with the Associated Press, Hamill said, “The fact that I’m involved in any capacity is only because of that peculiar aspect of the Star Wars mythology where if you’re a Jedi, you get to come back and make a curtain call as a Force ghost.”
As sad as it is that Luke’s become one with the Force, making a “curtain call” means he’ll have one more shot to get things right. Given that being a Force ghost doesn’t afford much time to hang around, there are really only two options that make sense when considering who he could appear to in Episode IX: Rey and Kylo Ren.
Of all the characters in the Star Wars franchise, these are the two we know of who personally know Luke and received Jedi training from him. While there are seemingly no specific protocols indicating how many times a Force ghost can appear, based on previous movies, we’re not expecting Force ghost Luke to offer an additional training.
However, Luke could appear to Rey not to train her but to impart some much-needed advice or give her a final lesson to help in her journey. After all, Rey is the central hero of the new trilogy and, historically, Force ghosts have only tended to appear to those skewing toward the Light Side of the Force. There’s also the fact that Luke’s light saber called to Rey in The Force Awakens, so the connection is there.
Though Luke trained Rey in The Last Jedi, the pair didn’t depart on the best of terms. Rey was frustrated that Luke wouldn’t rejoin the fight against the First Order (though he eventually used the Force to help in the final battle before dying) and his return might be the boost she needs to carry on with the fight. Rey’s been worn down time and time again and might need some support. Luke might encourage her not to give up in the same way she did for him.
Then there’s Kylo, who has a much more complicated history with his uncle. Luke making an appearance might seem unlikely considering the bad blood between them. After all, Kylo attempted to kill Luke the last time he saw him, and Luke almost did the same to Kylo years prior. However, their issues might prove to be the reasons Luke appears to Kylo. Luke’s Force ghost may try to make amends by forging a new connection with his nephew, or make one last attempt to steer him clear of the Dark Side.
Then again, considering that we’re also expected Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader to show up as some sort of evil Force ghost in Rise of Skywalker, it makes more sense for Luke’s brief appearance to focus on Rey. This would provide some balance to the movie while Anakin visits his grandson.
Luke’s actions, and occasional inaction, since becoming a Jedi have caused a lot of turmoil in the new trilogy. We’re not expecting Mark Hamill to get a ton of screentime in the new movie, but maybe he’ll have just enough to correct those past blunders and set Rey (and maybe Kylo Ren) on the right path before hanging up his Jedi robes for good.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.