It's a great time to be a Star Wars fan. With Disney now in charge of the property, there's a wealth of new and exciting content coming from the galaxy far, far away. While Solo: A Star Wars Story will arrive shortly, the fandom is still recovering from Rian Johnson's subversive sequel The Last Jedi. The second installment in the new trilogy brought Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker back, and focused on a far more jaded and hopeless version of the character. While Luke ultimately perished after saving The Resistance on Crait, fans have been hoping he'd return as a Force Ghost in Episode IX. Hamill has certainly been teasing this possibility, and stoked the fire on Twitter with a cryptic post. Check it out.

I mean, come on. There's really only one way to interpret that post: Luke will return in some form or another. At least, that's what we're all hoping for.

Mark Hamill's Twitter post seems to truly be digging his heels into fan expectations and hope for the franchise's hero. Because Luke was all but absent in The Force Awakens, it seemed like The Last Jedi would ultimately be the only film in the current trilogy to star Luke. At least, that's what it seemed the plan was by Lucasfilm.

But then tragedy struck, and things got a bit more complicated. Carrie Fisher passed away shortly after wrapping production on The Last Jedi, putting the overarching narrative of the trilogy into jeopardy. Episode IX was supposed to be Leia's moment to shine, and her death meant that Episode IX might be the first main installment to not include any of the original trio of heroes. Fans are really hoping Luke will end up in the movie, therefore giving J.J. Abrams' upcoming sequel a stronger connection to the originals.

The groundwork has really been laid for Luke to pop back up as Force Ghost in Episode IX. His disappearance is very similar to the death of Obi-Wan in A New Hope, with the Jedi Master ultimately being able to return and guide the hero. Yoda also appeared as a significant character in The Last Jedi, challenging the expectations about what Force Ghosts were capable of. Rey is going to need some guidance in the battle to come, and without Leia and Luke she doesn't have anyone to look to.

Alas, we'll have to wait quite some time before we have an idea of Luke's ultimate fate in the franchise. Because if a Force Ghost version of the franchise hero will pop up in Episode IX, it's certainly going to be saved as a surprise scene for the fandom.

The next installment in the galaxy far, far away is Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

SPOILERS: Every Major Reveal In Solo: A Star Wars Story

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