Director Rian Johnson may continue to insist that his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is consistent with the version we saw in the Original Trilogy, but there are evidently quite a few fans out there who disagree, which explains why the internet is so flooded with dubious rumors and theories that suggest an attempt to ‘fix’ the character in next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX. But while much of this hearsay and speculation can be dismissed as baseless, a new piece from Screen Rant makes a few notable points for why J.J. Abrams could be planning to revisit our hero at the peak of his Jedi days.
Whereas Rian Johnson sought to subvert our expectations, Abrams has always been a real people-pleaser, hence Star Wars: The Force Awakens essentially serving as one big homage to A New Hope. And with Billy Dee Williams set to reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming trilogy-closer, it definitely looks like Abrams isn’t through with paying tribute to the past quite yet.
What’s more, The Last Jedi is notable for being the first entry in the series to feature flashbacks of any significant length – and with all of them focused on Luke’s relationship with Kylo Ren, no less – suggesting that the next film could use this narrative device again to show us one last great display of power from a living Luke. As for how this moment could be integrated into the story, Screen Rant suggests that Episode IX could be delving into Kylo’s past to answer some of the questions that Johnson’s movie left us with about the new Supreme Leader or even the mysterious Snoke.
Of course, this is all just speculation for the time being, but with Mark Hamill confirmed to return to the role, it’s surely not out of the question that Abrams might have something a little less predictable planned for Luke than a mere Force Ghost cameo. Either way, we’ll see what’s in store for the character’s presumed big screen finale when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.