Star Wars: Episode VIII – Which Force Ghosts Will We See?


We heard Force ghosts speak in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Which dead Jedi (or Sith) can we expect to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII?

We heard the ghosts of Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi speak to Rey during her vision in The Force Awakens. But seeing is believing, and I’d bet money we’re going to see Force ghosts in Episode VIII. The question is, which ones?

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Yoda and Obi Wan are automatically the top two contenders, as they already spoke in the previous film. They could appear to give Rey advice during her Jedi training, perhaps, or they could visit Kylo Ren to implore him to turn back to the light. The latter is not so farfetched a scenario, because there has already been a case in Star Wars where a ghost has tried to speak to a character to get him to stop doing something evil has already happened. In Attack of the Clones, the voice of Qui Gon Jinn said, “Anakin! Anakin! NO!” as the young Jedi was slaughtering the Sand People. Maybe Qui Gon will return again to speak with Kylo, though I speculate his main mission was to guide first Anakin, then Obi Wan while he was in exile on Tatooine. Obi Wan and Yoda, on the other hand, had more to do with Anakin and then Luke, as well. They are probably invested in Luke’s children and/or nephew, too, since Kylo is following the same path Anakin took.

Speaking of Anakin, he is another character whose presence as a Force ghost would make sense, and would also be the most appropriate choice for appearing to Kylo Ren. Imagine how powerful that confrontation would be: the ghost of Kylo’s grandfather, whom Kylo looked up to as an evil lord of the Sith, revealing himself to have turned to the light in the end and begging his grandson to turn back as well. It would be one of the most poignant scenes in all of Star Wars, and Rian Johnson or Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow would be remiss to not make it happen.

But we know Episode VIII is going to be “weird,” so simply having Force ghosts as we’ve seen them in past Star Wars films may not be reaching far enough. Dave Filoni once said Sith cannot become Force ghosts, but they can appear as manifestations of the dark side of the Force in visions or trials. We saw such a manifestation during Yoda’s brief encounter with the shade of Darth Bane in an episode of The Clone Wars (via Furious Fanboys). We also know from that same episode arc that confrontations with the dark side of the Force, no matter what form it takes, are dangerous and deadly.

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Fortunately for the dark side, there are many dark lords who could pose a threat or a temptation to Rey, Kylo Ren, and even Luke Skywalker. The most relevant would be Emperor Palpatine, who represents how successful a seduction to the dark side can be, having done it himself to Anakin Skywalker; Darth Bane, who established the Sith Rule of Two, which might still be relevant (we still don’t know yet if Supreme Leader Snoke is a Sith or something different); Darth Vader (as a manifestation of the dark side, not the real Anakin Skywalker, who, as we saw at the end of Return of the Jedi, is a Force ghost); and Darth Plagueis, who supposedly was able to push the Force to the point where it retaliated by creating a human being: Anakin himself.

The Force is a largely unexplored mystical entity in the books, television shows, and films. That unknown is what gets me excited for Episode VIII, because, once again, we’ve been promised it will  be weirder than anything we’ve seen in the saga before and darker than The Force Awakens. It sounds like Rian Johnson is going to take us to places we’ve never been before, show us aspects of the Force we haven’t yet been shown.

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So really, who knows in what shape or form we will see the Force and the souls who reside within it present themselves. What’s exciting we are able to speculate on Force ghosts appearing based on what we know from past films, and at the same time there’s room for something totally new and unexpected in the movies going forward.