What's really going on with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars 9? Both directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson have confirmed that Luke died at the end of The Last Jedi. Now, a new rumor claims that Luke will not be returning as a Force Ghost, nor will his return be part of a flashback to past events. So what is Luke now? Has he ascended to the level of ultimate Jedi master?

There has been recent proof that Rey will get a new lightsaber in Star Wars 9. A photo reveled on the official Star Wars Show gave a detailed look at Rey's blue lightsaber, previously owned by both Anakin and Luke. The Kyber crystal is shattered in half and beyond repair after Rey and Kylo Ren's previous encounter. Now a leak describes Rey's confrontation with Luke, who is holding onto his green lightsaber introduced in Return of the Jedi and seen in The Last Jedi flashbacks. It appeared nowhere on Ahch-To with Luke.

In this key scene from Star Wars 9, Luke Skywalker is said to appear in the flesh before Rey. He is not a Force Ghost. There is no blue hue humming around the edges of his transcended body. Luke is also clean shaven in this scene, having lost his Jedi beard. So what exactly is going on?

Related: Is Star Wars 9 Really Teaming Rey with This Surprise Character?

The scene in question takes place on a Jungle world, a new planet that has been confirmed in recent set photos. Behind Rey and Luke are ancient stone steps leading to several rooms that appear to be Jedi temples. Luke is in his physical form, as though he never died after his astral projection confrontation with Kylo Ren. If he is a Force Ghost, he has learned to control it in a much different way than the previous Force Ghosts we've seen on screen in the franchise.

Luke is holding his iconic green lightsaber hilt, but he has not ignited the glowing weapon. Rey examines the lightsaber. It is speculated that Luke is giving Rey a lesson she skipped out on during their first encounter on Ahch-To. Could he be teaching her how to construct her own lightsaber? Or will we see Rey get a new Jedi weapon never before introduced in the canon that also utilizes the precious Kyber crystals?

Luke's new haircut is described as being shorter than the younger astral projection seen on the salt planet Crait. He is wearing brown Jedi robes complete with white sleeves. It was confirmed that Mark Hamill had shaved his beard clean prior to the Star Wars 9 production start date. But it has also been confirmed that the actor later grew that old crusty alien boob milk stained beard back.

In The Last Jedi, Luke promises to teach Rey three lessons, but she flew off to be with Kyle Ren before getting fully schooled in the ways of the Jedi. There is a deleted scene that shows the third lesson, which has Rey running to confront an incoming attack, only to arrive at a Caretaker celebration, discovering that she'd been tricked by Luke. Luke wanted her to think and act for herself. The leaked scene in question is described as calm, with Rey no longer upset with Luke and his Yoda like ways of mischief.

Star Wars 9 is supposedly wrapping up the entire Luke Skywalker saga, which has run through 8 movies and a Christmas special thus far, not to mention a ton of comic books and novels. It's hugely possible that Luke's story won't end here though. The fact that Luke appears to still be alive, and not a Force Ghost in Star Wars 9 has many hoping J.J. Abrams rectified what some fans believed to be a complete abandonment of the character in The Last Jedi. It is believed that neither Luke nor Leia will show up in the first trailer, which has been rumored to drop during next year's Super Bowl. The Super Bowl leak was supposedly reported so that a few of you could prepare to take the appropriate pie breaks during the big game and not miss this first look footage heading our way this February. Let's just pray that some of you with thicker fingers manage to get all that flying pie crust out of your eyes before it all goes down. This latest Luke Skywalker news dripped out of Express.co.uk.