Star Wars: Does Mark Hamill's Shaved Beard Tease Luke's Force Ghost in 'Episode IX'?

For years, Mark Hamill has adorned an impressive beard, which helped him portray an older Luke Skywalker who had abandoned his life as a Jedi to live in isolation on Ahch-To. The character gave his life to save the Resistance in The Last Jedi, while Hamill himself has shaved off the impressive facial hair. With shooting on Episode IX set to begin later this month, some theories posit that the lack of a beard could confirm an appearance in the new film.

The actor shared a photo of himself on Twitter with a cane featuring the face of the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series, a character he voiced, though many fans were startled to see Hamill clean-shaven given that he's had a beard or goatee for years.

Of course, there's a strong possibility that Hamill shaved for virtually any project or merely because he was sick of his beard, yet the timing of his fresh shave and the start of production on Episode IX approaching might be more than a coincidence.

Were Luke to appear in the film without a beard, it would raise some interesting questions about how he could factor into the plot. When Darth Vader died, his Force ghost reflected how he looked when he parted ways with the Force before embracing his inner darkness to become a Sith Lord. As seen in The Last Jedi, Luke was devout to the Jedi Order up until he saw darkness in his nephew Ben Solo, a moment in which he had facial hair.

Similarly, the scene in which Luke projected the image of himself to Crait saw him take the appearance his allies would recognize, which also featured facial hair.

With the confirmation that Billy Dee Williams would be featured in Episode IX, we won't be surprised to discover that Hamill is also involved in the production, yet the studio might also aim to keep this fact a secret in hopes of delivering fans a surprise, much like Yoda's appearance in The Last Jedi.

Episode IX lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.

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[H/T Twitter, HamillHimself]