Star Wars: Rian Johnson Has "Hope" That Luke Will Return in 'Episode IX'

The Last Jedi delivered a variety of surprising character developments, some of which left permanent ramifications for the saga going forward. Writer/director Rian Johnson made some bold choices with Luke Skywalker, and while some fans think they know what it means for the character, Johnson himself has "hope" that the character could return in a future installment.

"I’m not writing the script, so I don’t know," Johnson shared with Variety about what the future holds for Luke. "But as a fan, I would hope so."

Filmmakers and Lucasfilm alike have expressed that each chapter in the series is crafted by the filmmakers responsible and there isn't much direct advice imposed upon each filmmaking team, making Johnson's comments merely being the hopes of a fan.

"I don’t know where the next movie is going to go. J.J. [Abrams] and Chris Terrio are writing it right now," Johnson admitted. "But it seemed like the potential of Luke crossing into new realm — that offers exciting possibilities for the role he plays in the coming chapter."

Luke's decision to become one with the Force like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda before him may have taken many audiences by surprise, but Johnson knew from the earliest stages of developing the story that this was a natural path for the character to take.

"It was very early on. I felt like everything was leading there," Johnson revealed of how he came to the decision. "I slowly brought it up in conversation. But it was a genuine conversation, nobody freaked out. They were like, 'Hmm, let’s talk about why that needs to happen.' So we started talking."

The filmmaker claimed that, based on what we knew of the character in The Force Awakens, his entire journey in The Last Jedi was the most logical, and also surprising, path for the character to follow.

"For me, there were a lot of reasons. This is very much Luke’s story, about accepting the mantle of 'Luke Skywalker,' as a legend that inspires the galaxy. He asks at the beginning: What can one guy with a lightsaber do? And the answer is 'Not much,'" Johnson confessed. "But the 'Legend of Luke Skywalker,' spreading hope across the galaxy, can do quite a lot. So his huge decision to come back and take that on his shoulders — I knew that would be the conclusion of the movie. And I knew it was a potent place for him to have this big moment, if you’re going to build up a huge head of emotional steam, let’s serve this moment and really give him his due."

Fans will see if Luke returns when Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

[H/T Variety]

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