One of the biggest questions on the minds of Star Wars fans is whether or not Luke Skywalker will appear in Episode IX in some capacity, leading Mark Hamill to regularly taunt his followers on Twitter about his status in the galaxy far, far away. The actor recently shared a photo of an empty robe, claiming it was involved in the upcoming film, a reference to his character dying as his robe blew away after his disappearance.
The actor shared a stock photo of an empty robe while adding the caption, "BREAKING NEWS: Star Wars Episode IX writer/director JJ Abrams casts Empty Robe in latest installment of much anticipated space-saga."
As established by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars and by Yoda in Return of the Jedi, if a Jedi chooses to become one with the Force, rather than leaving behind their physical form, they evaporate into thin air. Hamill has previously poked fun at his character's fate in the film, noting that, were Luke to have somehow survived, he's likely moved on to a place where clothing is optional.
"My favorite is the fact that maybe he transported to somewhere else," Hamill previously confirmed with Entertainment Weekly about his favorite theories surrounding the character. "And I thought, 'Well, if he left his robes behind he'd have to go to a nudist colony.'"
Were Hamill's character to appear, it would have to either be a flashback or as a Force ghost, similar to how his predecessors were depicted following their deaths. With shooting on Episode IX beginning imminently, Hamill continues to play coy about his involvement or lack thereof.
When asked by Collider last month if we could expect to see the character return, Hamill confirmed, "I don't know. I'm the last to know. I like it that way. I like surprises, but when I know something, I'll let you know."
Hamill's future with the franchise might be unconfirmed, but the upcoming film will reportedly feature the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Rumors of Williams' return began earlier this year when a convention shared details about the actor's intense fitness regimen, which mirrored the routine Carrie Fisher utilized ahead of filming The Force Awakens. The actor then had to cancel a convention appearance slated for September, noting the reason for the cancellation being a film shoot, which coincided with Episode IX's production schedule.
Fans will uncover all of Episode IX's secrets when it hits theaters on December 20, 2019.
Would you like to see Hamill return to the series? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!
[H/T Twitter, HamillHimself]