Mark Hamill might have just confirmed that Luke Skywalker will be returning for Episode IX (Episode 9).
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 30, 2016
The “leak” of sorts comes from a video he tweeted of him getting his beard shaved, underneath which he has captioned, “Haven’t seen my chin since May ’15, so
#FarewellFacialFur & #ByeByeBeard(at least til #EpisodeIX).”
The major part of that tweet being the, “(at least til #EpisodeIX).”
The fear amongst Star Wars fans is that Disney will choose to kill off the original trilogy’s hero, much like they did with Han. Whether or not Luke’s death is as impending as Han’s, it is unclear.
However, given the nature of Episode 7 – namely that it was almost exactly like Episode 4 – I don’t think we will be seeing Luke’s departure. Obi Wan was killed in Episode 4 and so was Han, and I think that is where the parallel is drawn. I think Luke will be much more like a Yoda character, and given that he is not nearly as (relatively) old as Yoda was, he won’t be becoming one with the force quite yet.
This is all speculation and could be very wrong. The other option is that he could die in Episode 8 and return in force-ghost form in Episode 9.
Star Wars: Episode 8 is set for release next year on December 15th, 2017.