The 'Star Wars: Episode 9' Title Has Fans Hoping Luke Skywalker Could Return To The Franchise

Lucasfilm Ltd.

The first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode 9 is finally here, and it brought the official title along with it. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the final entry into this new Star Wars trilogy, and the title, coupled with the new teaser, has fans wondering if Luke Skywalker will be in Episode IX.

It's true, of course, that actor Mark Hamill has confirmed that he would return for Episode IX. In a tweet sent on Oct. 18 in 2018, he wrote, "yes, I'm in it," but refused to give any details. That said, the actor has been known to mess with fans, so did he really expect everyone to take his word for it? Well, now that there's finally a teaser trailer and title for the film it seems like Hamill might have been telling the truth after all.

The title, The Rise of Skywalker alone makes a pretty strong case for Luke Skywalker's potential return. After all, Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo, is a Skywalker, but he's never gone by that name, and after the end of The Last Jedi, he seemed to completely forsake his identity as Ben. Meanwhile, there has been a lot of talk about whether Rey is a Skywalker, but that was seemingly put to bed in the last film as well. That leaves General Leia, who is most definitely a Skywalker. However, it's hard to believe that she would be the Skywalker in question given that all of her scenes will be comprised of repurposed footage from The Force Awakens due to the sudden death of star Carrie Fisher in 2016. By process of elimination, this could suggest the return — and "rise" — of Luke Skywalker. Who better to end the fight between light and dark once and for all?

Though he doesn't appear physically in the trailer, Luke, who — spoiler alert — seemingly died at the end of The Last Jedi, is definitely present in the teaser for Episode IX. "We've past on all we know," he says in voice over, as Rey catches her breath and prepares for a showdown in the middle of a desert. "But this is your fight." This voice-over has certainly given fans hope that Luke is coming back to the big screen in a big way.

That said, fans have been fooled by Luke Skywalker voice overs before. Remember that second Force Awakens teaser trailer? Sure, it had voice over from Luke about the Force, but he barely appeared in the movie, let alone give a speech. It's possible that this is just another fake-out. Something to make fans think Luke Skywalker will be in Episode IX, when really he's not. Or, maybe this dialogue really is in the movie. Who knows?

There's also the very likely possibility that Luke Skywalker will return in The Rise of Skywalker — he just might not be alive. Force ghosts have played a huge part throughout Star Wars' many franchises, with characters returning in ghost form to give advice (see Yoda's return in The Last Jedi), or celebrate (see Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of Return of the Jedi). It would make sense for Luke to come back as a Force ghost in Episode IX to give some of that Jedi wisdom to Rey before her final battle against evil.

As of right now, it looks like Luke Skywalker will come back for Episode IX in some capacity — be it voice over, Force ghost, or full on resurrection — but nothing in Star Wars is ever a given, so fans might want to keep their hopes in check until the movie hits theaters this Christmas.