Will Luke Skywalker appear in Episode IX? A photo Mark Hamill posted on Twitter has sent fans into a theory frenzy.
Luke Skywalker’s beard made its first appearance in the last scene of The Force Awakens. The cliffhanger that followed left fans wondering not whether Luke would take the lightsaber from Rey, but how long Mark Hamill would keep the Jedi facial hair.
He ended up leaving it alone for awhile – his wife was into it, and, you know, the things we do for the people we love.
But now that Episode IX filming has officially begun, we’re on the lookout for any clues as to who might appear in the final episode of the sequel trilogy. Han Solo is still a possibility. Now Luke Skywalker might be, too – at least, according to one social media post.
Hamill posted a photo on Twitter revealing the absence of The Beard, and now the question is: Is clean-shaven Luke coming back to Star Wars?
The beard was apparently part of Hamill’s contract while filming. So the fact that he finally decided to ditch the Jedi look could mean he won’t be back – at least, not as the old, cranky Luke who projected a younger image of himself across the galaxy to save the Resistance from his Darth Vader-wannabe nephew.
If Hamill does return, he’ll probably either do so as a Force ghost or in a flashback. But neither of these roles requires a beard.
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Force ghosts of Star Wars past have maintained their facial hair, but the digital version of Return of the Jedi gave us a beardless Clone Wars-era Anakin. It’s totally possible that Force Ghost Luke could appear clean-shaven whether Hamill reprises the role or not.
And sure, Flashback Luke still had a beard in The Last Jedi. But that could have just been a phase. A lot of time passed between ROTJ and Kylo Ren’s temple-destroying temper tantrum.
We likely won’t know for awhile whether or not Luke will make a final appearance in the saga. But it’s very possible Hamill already has.
Honestly, even a short-lived voiceover in Episode IX would be fine. Beard or no beard, Luke is too important not to play a significant role in this trilogy’s end.
Star Wars Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.