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'Star Wars Episode IX:' Mark Hamill says Luke Skywalker will return as a Force ghost

Mark Hamill poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in London, Wednesday, Dec. 13th, 2017.
Mark Hamill poses for photographers at the photo call for the film "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in London, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Joel C Ryan, Invision

SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Hamill has confirmed Luke Skywalker will appear in “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” — as a Force ghost.

According to USA Today, Hamill, who played Luke most recently in “The Last Jedi,” told The Associated Press at the premiere for “Child’s Play” that he will close out the Skywalker Saga as a spectral version of himself, despite getting “closure” for the character.

“The fact that I'm involved in any capacity is only because of that peculiar aspect of the 'Star Wars' mythology where if you're a Jedi you get to come back, make a curtain call as a Force ghost,” Hamill said.

In “The Last Jedi,” Luke Skywalker used the Force to project an image of himself across the galaxy. After fighting with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Luke faded away — giving Resistance fighters enough time to escape, similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor) sacrifice in “A New Hope.”

Past Star Wars characters returning as Force ghosts is something of a tradition at this point — Jedi like Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda (Frank Oz) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) have all returned from the grave, according to Nerdist. Qui-Gon is canonically the first Jedi to master returning from the dead.

“He kept learning about the Force after death, and he studied how to fully emerge as more than a voice because he didn’t want Obi-Wan to be completely alone during his years on Tatooine. Obi-Wan would commune with Qui-Gon regularly; he talked with his former master on the day he confronted Darth Vader,” the Nerdist writes.

Collider also reports that Hamill probably intends to retire from “Star Wars” following his appearance in “Episode IX.” When asked if “The Rise of Skywalker” is his last Star Wars movie, he replied “I sure hope so,” before laughing.

“The Rise of Skywalker” will hit theaters on Dec. 20 later this year.