"Star Wars: Episode IX" might be bringing back the legendary Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in some form. The actor himself hinted this comeback.
Hamill took to Twitter to share an artwork depicting his character's final moments in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in which he vanished and become one with the Force after saving what's left of the Resistance from his nephew Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order.
In the emotional final moments of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Luke used everything he's got to project himself onto the planet Crait, tricking Kylo Ren into thinking that he was actually there.
When the new supreme leader vowed to destroy him and everything in his very meta effort to "let the past die," Luke warns him, "No. Strike me down in anger and I'll always be with you. Just like your father."
This was taken to mean that Luke will be back in "Star Wars: Episode IX" to taunt Kylo Ren or at least convince him to return to the light while also perhaps helping Rey (Daisy Ridley) in her Jedi journey. Hamill suggested that this might indeed be the case, saying that the scene was "foreshadowing."
It would not come as a surprise if the Jedi master appears in the final film of the sequel trilogy. He is expected to be back as a Force ghost since his death scene in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" was very much like that of Obi-Wan and Yoda, who both came back as Force ghosts.
The latter's appearance in the movie also teases that the Force ghosts are more possible than fans have anticipated, introducing exciting storytelling possibilities for "Star Wars: Episode IX" should Luke return in that form.
Although Luke could come back, he is not expected to be the focus of the film. As Rian Johnson, director and writer of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," emphasized time and again in the movie, it is all about moving on and putting the focus on this new generation of characters.
All the same, the legacy characters were not supposed to be sidelined. The plan was to have Leia play a major role in "Star Wars: Episode IX" until the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" focused on Han Solo (Harrison Ford), serving as his send-off. This was the case for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and Luke Skywalker. Leia was supposed to be central to the plot in the third film, but this could no longer be the case.
Disney has already said that they won't be digitally bringing Leia back so it would be interesting to see what happens to the character in "Star Wars: Episode IX" since the second film saw her survive but seemingly pass the torch to Poe (Oscar Isaac) as the leader of the Resistance. Inverse says that since Leia will not be there, Force ghost Luke might get the spotlight instead.
"Star Wars: Episode IX" will be written and directed by J.J. Abrams. There is so much pressure for him to deliver especially since "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has been quite a divisive film with many fans expecting to fix the "mess" that Johnson did in the 2017 sequel.