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Major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you haven't seen the latest Star Wars sequel, check out one of our other stories.
It's been less than a week since Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived in theaters, and the generations of fans haven't stopped discussing every frame of the blockbuster. Rian Johnson took a ton of risks with the film, telling a capsulated story that challenged much of what fans thought they knew about the galaxy far, far away. And perhaps no plot line is as controversial as Luke Skywalker's, especially how the hero of the franchise went out in the end. He seemed to have finally passed on in the final moments of the film, but could he show up as a Force Ghost like this mentors Obi-Wan and Yoda? Here's what Johnson said about the character's possible future in J.J. Abrams' Episode IX.
Luke had an interesting go during The Last Jedi, going into a self-imposed exile in Ach-To just like Yoda did after the events of the prequel trilogy. Much like the little green guy, Luke intended to live the rest of his days alone with his self- loathing. And while Luke eventually used his powers to help save the remaining members of The Resistance and inspire their faith in Rey, he allowed himself to finally rest, and disappeared into thin air.
It seemed like this would be the end of Luke Skywalker's journey, but it's no accident that Yoda came back from the dead to guide Luke through The Last Jedi. If the Jedi Master was able to guide Luke after death, maybe Luke will be able to do the same for Rey. Her training was very limited, so she'll need a bit more help in order to help save the galaxy in Episode IX.
The likelihood of Luke returning for Episode IX also seems even higher in the wake of Carrie Fisher's death. The next sequel was supposed to be a big one for Leia, but Fisher' death a year ago will prevent the beloved character from getting a proper ending. And since Han died in The Force Awakens, it would be bummer for the threequel not to contain any of the trio of original characters.