Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Like all major movies in a franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the kind of film you really don't want spoiled. But the new movie takes things up a notch, as The Last Jedi is filled to the brim with moments and scenes that'll leave audiences gasping in shock. Perhaps nothing is more stunning than when, seemingly, Luke dies at the end of The Last Jedi, after an epic showdown with Kylo Ren. The scene of Luke disappearing is both gorgeous and heartbreaking, but the question remains of if the Jedi is truly gone for good, and if Mark Hamill will be in Star Wars: Episode IX.
As of now, it seems possible that Hamill might actually be done with the iconic franchise. At a London event in 2016, the actor answered a question about Star Wars by saying, "I finish Episode VIII, and then I'm out of work," as ComicBook.com reports. Of course, that statement could've just meant that he's out of a job for the time between The Last Jedi and any upcoming Star Wars projects, like Episode IX. But it also could very well mean that Hamill is truly done with the Star Wars world, and that The Last Jedi was his final movie.
But that's no guarantee. Luke may be gone, but it's still a possibility that he'll return in some way or another in Episode IX. After all, plenty of other late Star Wars characters have made appearances in films after their deaths, appearing as Force Ghosts, aka the souls of deceased Force-sensitive people who can interact with the living, just not physically. Obi-Wan Kenobi did it in the earlier Star Wars movies, and in The Last Jedi, Yoda briefly appears during a scene with Luke to help show him the answers when he's debating whether or not to teach Rey the ways of the Force.
So while it's obviously not confirmed just yet, it's likely that Luke, while dead, isn't actually going to disappear from the Star Wars universe for good. Episode IX could very well see him make a reappearance in his Force Ghost form, or perhaps even as his real self, in flashbacks. Characters that Luke was close to, like Leia, Rey, and Kylo Ren, remain alive at the end of The Last Jedi, so it's totally possible that one or more of them will have a flashback involving Luke at some point during Episode IX.
There's still a lot that fans don't know about the next Star Wars installment, including just how big a role General Leia will play, considering the sudden death of Carrie Fisher in 2016. The Independent reports that at an October event at New York Comic-Con, Hamill discussed the future for his late co-star's iconic character, saying, "I know they're going to try and find a way to close her story in [Episode IX] that gives her the respect she deserves." Leia was apparently going to have a very prominent role in the next movie, according to Hamill, so the plot had to have been altered in order to deal with Fisher's tragic passing.
Fans have many questions going into the next movie, about Leia's role, Luke's possible return, and so much more. It's too bad that the release of Episode IX is still two years away, as the movie is set to come out on Dec. 20, 2019. We're going to need a lot more information to get us through that long break, but then again, to avoid spoilers, we might all just be better off re-watching The Last Jedi over and over and savoring the greatness that is Rian Johnson's new movie.