The teaser for The Rise of Skywalker revealed to us the shocking return of Emperor Palpatine. Will Darth Sidious return to life, or as a Sith version of a Force Ghost? Whatever the case may be…Ian McDiarmid is back. But we don’t think he’s the only long-gone familiar face who will be appearing in Episode IX. And a line that Mark Hamill says in the new teaser just might be the biggest hint.
When Rey is in the desert, we hear the voice of Luke Skywalker say “We’ve passed on all we know.” We, not I. Does this mean that Luke has continued to train Rey as a Force Ghost since the events of The Last Jedi, but this time with a little help from his friends? Before the official cast announcement for Episode IX, fans wondered if Lucasfilm would keep Mark Hamill a secret. But they didn’t. Maybe that’s because there are other cameos from Force Ghosts in this film that will make the jaws of fans everywhere drop.
Based on Luke using the word “we,” I think we are gearing up for a Force Ghost scene that will make the little pow-wow at the end of Return of the Jedi seem tame. I think we will see Rey communing mostly with Luke, since she knew him in life. But I believe for one scene at least, the Jedi spirits will come back to impart some wisdom on Rey for her final journey. In addition to Luke, we’ll probably see Frank Oz return one last time as Yoda, Hayden Christensen return as Anakin, and Ewan McGregor come back as Obi-Wan Kenobi. And, just maybe, Liam Neeson will return as Qui-Gon Jinn, whose ghost returned in The Clone Wars.
JJ Abrams has repeatedly said that Episode IX is the climax of a nine part saga, not just these past three films. The return of Palpatine is an indicator of this. He was the bad guy who started this whole ball rolling in the first place. But just as he was there from the very start, so were Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The fact that JJ Abrams also used both Frank Oz and Ewan McGregor’s voices in Rey’s “Forceback” scene in The Force Awakens also could be a strong hint that he wants those two Jedi to be there in some form at the end of the story. And this would be very on-brand for him, feels and all.
It’s quite possible that they don’t appear of course, and we only see scenes between Rey and Luke. And that’s perfectly fine too. But we think there will be at least one emotional moment involving all the most important Jedi in the saga. Perfect way to say farewell as this grand epic draws to a close.