Ranking all 8 'Rise of Skywalker' Force ghost rumors, from Luke to WTF

It's the spookiest, ghostliest Star Wars movie yet -- or is it?  


Figuring out which character will return in regular movies is fairly easy, mostly because your list is limited to characters who are still alive. But, because Star Wars has these pesky Force ghosts, dead people can show up as Dickensian ghosts of Star Wars past, present, and future pretty much at any time. With The Rise of Skywalker on the horizon, the rumors of Force hauntings are stronger than ever. But which spirits will actually make the cut, and which ones are nothing more than undigested bits of internet fan theories?

Here are eight Star Wars characters rumored to appear as ghosts in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, ranked by how likely we think those hauntings might be.

Speculative ghost spoilers ahead.

Can Mace Windu ever return?


8. Mace Windu

Samuel L. Jackson insists Mace Windu is alive, and some people think he’ll be back for The Rise of Skywalker. Although this would be awesome, it also feels a little unlikely. Then again, because Mace Windu was the last Jedi (other than Yoda) to face Palpatine in combat, his return could be linked to Palpatine coming back. At the same time, a flashback seems slightly more likely.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? Probably busted, but you never know.

Leia is confused.


7. Leia

Even though General Leia Organa is 100 percent alive at the end of The Last Jedi, some rumors insist that Leia will die at some point in this movie, which means she could appear as a Force ghost later in the movie, helping to guide Rey. From a logistical standpoint, having Leia become a disembodied voice would solve certain problems for Lucasfilm relative to getting new footage of Carrie Fisher. But at the same time, having someone become a ghost when the character is still alive feels a little off.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? Probably busted, but you never know.

Yoda as a ghost who loves to burn.


6. Yoda

Yoda surprised everyone by showing up as a ghost last time, and, most relevantly, a ghost who liked to burn things! Yoda’s return feels both very possible and very unlikely at the same time. Yes, this is the end of the entire Skywalker saga, but bringing Yoda back again feels a little too fan service-y. Then again, because it already happened in the previous movie, it also wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? Probably busted, but if Yoda’s ghost did show up, it would probably just be a cameo, very similar to the ending of Return of the Jedi.

He's back. He never left.

Star Wars

5. Obi-Wan

This one feels 50/50. One the one hand, Obi-Wan’s ghost has kind of already appeared in the sequel trilogy: His spirit spoke to Rey in The Force Awakens with the voices of both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor. So, could Ewan appear as Obi-Wan in The Rise of Skywalker? If this was two years ago, the answer might be no, but now that Ewan is coming back to do an Obi-Wan TV series, it’s possible that an Obi-Wan ghost in this movie could retroactively set something up for that series in our future but Obi-Wan’s past.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? It seems like a coin toss. Or a dice roll?

Anakin Skywalker, Kylo Ren's grandfather


4. Anakin/ Darth Vader

The entire Skywalker saga is ostensibly about Anakin Skywalker making some bad choices and sending the galaxy into chaos. Without Darth Vader, Star Wars just isn’t Star Wars. For this reason alone, Anakin Skywalker might actually appear in spirit form in this movie. Kylo Ren supposedly has already talked to his grandfather’s ghost, and recently, rumors swirled that Hayden Christensen — Anakin Skywalker himself — had been barred from speaking about Episode IX in public. In some ways, this one is almost a total lock. Even if we don’t see Vader/Anakin, his ghost will loom large.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? Probably a yes, even if in passing.

Palpatine: Is he a ghost?


3. Palpatine

The way in which Palpatine comes back to life seems to be 100 percent connected to how he died. Though some rumors suggest he’s still alive because he avoided that terrible fall in Return of the Jedi, the idea that Dark side magic helped him come back for this movie seems like something that will happen. It’s also possible that Palpatine doesn’t come back to life at all and exists only in the movie as a Sith ghost, which, of all the explanations for his return, might be the one that makes the most sense and would require no explanation whatsoever.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? Probably a yes. Hold onto your Sith butts!

Han Solo dies! Han Solo lives!


2. Han Solo

I know. I know. Han Solo can’t be a Force ghost because he wasn’t a Jedi. What I’m suggesting here is that this is a different type of Force ghost. Maybe we should call it a “Force memory” or a “Force dream,” but way back, there were rumors that Luke would show Kylo Ren a Force vision of Han Solo and that this Han spirit would speak to Kylo Ren. Because this is the final film in the episodic Star Wars saga, this rumor feels very legit to me, and if you think about it, it makes a ton of sense. Are they really going to end all of this without one last look at Han? That’s what I thought.

Force ghost yes or Force ghost-busted? I know it seems like a long shot, but never tell Han the odds. Especially when he’s a ghost!


1. Luke

This one is easy. Mark Hamill has said Luke is a Force ghost in interviews. Unless Mark Hamill is lying (which is possible!), we will see Luke Skywalker appear to Rey, and possibly Kylo Ren as a shimmering spirit exactly the way Obi-Wan appeared to him. Of all the Force ghosts that could show up in The Rise of Skywalker, Luke’s has the chance to be the most satisfying. At this point, Luke is essentially the Jesus of Star Wars, and if he’s the Skywalker that is rising in that title, his ghostly return is going to be epic as hell.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Ghost Party 2019 is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.