Star Wars Episode IX has a chance to do something Disney’s Sequel Trilogy hasn't yet managed to do: reunite Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo. The three characters have all had parts to play across The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but neither J.J. Abrams not Rian Johnson were able to bring all three characters together in one scene.
Episode IX is the end of the trilogy, and the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. It’s the last opportunity to reunite the original heroes, and one that shouldn’t be missed. We saw Leia and Han together in Episode VII, and then Luke and Leia in Episode VIII. The closest we came to a true reunion was the latter, with the dice from the Millennium Falcon representing Han.
Abrams is back in the director’s chair, and looking to give Star Wars a satisfying send-off. To do that, he needs to finish not just the trilogy he started, but the story that began over 40-years ago. The original trio is central to that. Han and Luke are both dead, but there is still a way to bring all three of them together one last time on the big screen.
- This Page: Luke, Leia, and Han Can All Return For Star Wars 9
- Page 2: The Original Heroes Could Appear In A Flashback
Luke & Leia Are Back For Star Wars 9
Despite dying in The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker will return in Episode IX. Mark Hamill is reprising his role, with a couple of options for how it could happen. The most likely explanation is that he’s a Force Ghost, as we saw him become one with the Force in Episode VIII. Both of his mentors had the ability to return as Force Ghosts, and have done so at crucial moments in Luke’s life, so it would make sense if he knew how to return as well. There is also the possibility of a flashback, since these were used with Luke in The Last Jedi.
More surprisingly, Leia will also be in Episode IX. Her character was still alive by the end of The Last Jedi, but actress Carrie Fisher sadly passed away in 2016. It initially appeared as though Leia wouldn’t be in the film, but Abrams soon realized that he couldn’t complete the story without her. Unused footage of Fisher from both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will be repurposed for Episode IX. It’s unclear exactly how much footage there is, but it should be enough for Leia to have a decent role in the movie, and still play a key part in the Resistance.
With both Luke and Leia in the movie, and thus ending the Skywalker Saga, another meeting of the Skywalker siblings is a must. Ultimately, this is their story coming to an end, and they should be together for that.
How Han Solo Can Return Too
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are both confirmed to be in Episode IX’s cast, but the same can't be said for Harrison Ford. Han Solo was killed off by Kylo Ren in Episode VII, and Ford hasn’t expressed any interest in a return. It’s quite the opposite in fact, with the actor notoriously wanting to be killed off long before The Force Awakens.
Still, Star Wars Episode IX the end of something that Ford has been a part of since 1977. With persuasion from Hamill and Abrams - or just a huge payday for minimal work - Ford could perhaps be convinced to return for a cameo. The bigger issue is that Han wasn’t connected to the Force, so unlike Luke, he can’t return as a Force Ghost.
That’s where the flashbacks can come in again. Though not typically an element of Star Wars, they’ve been involved in each of the sequels so far. Episode VII had Rey’s ‘Forceback’. Then Episode VIII had the Rashomon-inspired flashbacks to Luke and Ben’s training. It would fit for Episode IX to have flashbacks too. Han can’t return in the present, but there’s no reason we couldn’t see him again in the past.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019