J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX can potentially give fans a fully-powered Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. When it was first announced that Mark Hamill would return for Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars fans had hoped that they would finally be able to see Luke as a true Jedi Master, but that never happened.
Instead, audiences only got a brief glimpse as Luke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens before seeing more of his life as a hermit (and certainly not a Jedi Master) in Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. To cap it off, Luke also died in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was a result of him overexerting himself by using the Force. Needless to say that decision to kill off one of the most beloved characters in fiction was met with divisiveness among fans. But that doesn't mean Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the final time fans were going to see Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Hamill's Luke has to be involved in a key role in Star Wars: Episode IX given the fact that this isn’t just ending Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy but wrapping up the Skywalker saga as well, and that could very well mean seeing him in a guise fans have never truly seen on the big screen before: a fully powerful Jedi Master Luke.
- This Page: Mark Hamill Is Back In Star Wars 9
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Mark Hamill Is Back In Star Wars 9 (Somehow)
When the Star Wars: Episode IX cast was revealed in July, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see Hamill’s name on the list. Even though his character died in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it was never stated that fans had seen the last of Luke, and death has never stopped characters from returning in the past, especially when they become one with the Force. (This concept was introduced almost right away when Obi-Wan Kenobi died in A New Hope.)
Hamill’s return, then, almost certainly means audiences are going to be seeing Luke as a Force Ghost. It’s the most logical solution since it’s the galaxy's built-in narrative function that allows for characters to return, and makes far more sense than, say, Abrams resurrecting the character, even if that’s what some fans might prefer. Luke did tell his nephew, Kylo Ren, that he’d see him around, after all, so fans can probably expect a Kylo/Luke scene, while also perhaps him giving some more guidance to Rey. But that's not the only plausible way Luke could return.
Could Star Wars 9 Feature Luke Flashbacks?
With Star Wars: Episode IX ending the Skywalker Saga, it’s fairly likely that the film is going to look back at the past, despite the calls to let it die, as much as it is marching on to the future. Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduced a number of new elements to the franchise, and chief among them were flashbacks. Fans had seen glimpses of the past before but never in such an overt way as the flashbacks that appeared here, and crucially, it was a flashback (or three flashbacks of the same event) featuring Luke.
Since that’s an option on the table, then, and since Hamill is returning and there needs to be a decent-sized role for him, Star Wars: Episode IX could show audiences more flashbacks of Luke. (Hamill is also up for a digitally de-aged Luke.) After all, there’s still plenty of Luke's story to tell, especially between the events of Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including his relationship with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren and his ties to Supreme Leader Snoke. Flashbacks would be a means of answering some of those lingering questions which, lest fans forget, Abrams himself laid the foundation for.
Page 2 of 2: How Star Wars 9 Can Deliver Jedi Master Luke
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019