Many people were sad to see Luke Skywalker go at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but a new clue has surfaced which has made some wonder if it might mean we will, in fact, see Luke again in Star Wars Episode IX. While it may not seem like much, as we get closer to the beginning of filming of the final episode of the new trilogy, everything is suspect, and the newest interesting decision is the fact that Mark Hamill has shaved off his Skywalker beard, something noticed in a recent tweet.
Mark Hamill has had a beard for the last few years, more or less, and it was mostly contractually obligated as part of his work on the two previous Star Wars films. However, the beard has been hanging around on Mark Hamill's face up until fairly recently. Some wonder if the fact that Hamill has chosen to shave now, just as filming on Star Wars Episode IX is about to begin, is evidence that we'll see a beardless Force Ghost Luke.
To be sure, the fact that Mark Hamill has shaved could mean anything. It could be for any other film or TV role that he's doing or it could be that, since he's not in Episode IX he doesn't need to keep the facial hair and has just decided to be done with it. However, as we saw other actors making some physical changes, like Billy Dee Williams mentioning he was working with a personal trainer, before it was confirmed he would be back as Lando in Episode IX, the timing is certainly interesting.
The idea that Luke Skywalker would return in Episode IX as a Force Ghost is certainly nothing new. Luke's last words to Kylo Ren were "see you around, kid" after all, and Luke left the galaxy and became one with the Force on his own terms, much like his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. What's interesting, is that if Luke does appear as a ghost, it appears he will be clean shaven. The rules of how Force Ghosts work isn't entirely clear. In the Special Edition version of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, we see Anakin Skywalker appear as his younger self before he turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader. If a Jedi has the power to choose how they appear, perhaps Luke will choose to appear as he looked long ago as well, before he made the wrong decision with Ben Solo.
Even if we're going to see a clean shaven Force Ghost Luke in Episode IX, it's impossible to know if that will be confirmed between now and December of 2019. Luke was kept under wraps for his small appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and since his role may not be much larger in Episode IX , it's possible J.J. "Mystery Box" Abrams will attempt to do the same here.