Luke Skywalker will return in Star Wars: Episode IX. Many fans were worried that Mark Hamill's iconic character might face a similar fate as what befell Harrison Ford's Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Hamill has now confirmed that the Jedi Master will live through the next chapter to face the dark side yet again in this trilogy ending sequel to be directed by Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow.

Mark Hamill posted a video on Twitter earlier today that showed the actor getting his beard trimmed. While it was certainly exciting to see a fresh shaven Jedi string back at us, it was the caption that accompanied this video that has captured everyone's attention. As it pretty much confirms that Star Wars 9 is going to bring back the Jedi Master. He says this.

"Haven't seen my chin since May '15, so #FarewellFacialFur & #ByeByeBeard (at least til #EpisodeIX) @popculturequest"

Mark Hamill had exactly one minute of screen time at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with Rey visiting him on the secluded planet of Ahch-To. Star Wars: Episode VIII is said to pick up mere moments after this scene, and will find Luke training Rey to become a Jedi Knight. Other rumors claim that Kylo Ren will kidnap Finn and Poe Dameron, forcing Rey to come out of hiding and face him. All the while, Luke will be forced to contend with The Knights of Ren, where he will get to show off some of his new Jedi powers.

There are a number of rumors floating around about Rey's real parents, with some spoilers claiming she is the creator of the Force reincarnated. A more recent rumor claims that Snoke manipulated the Force, impregnating Shmi Skywalker with Anakin, and is in turn Luke's grandfather. None of these reports have been confirmed, but one consistent bit of speculation is that Rey will actually turn to the Dark Side, and that Kylo Ren, who is Han Solo and Princess Leia's son, with have to team up with his Uncle Luke to stop her. Again, this is all just wild speculation at this point.

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However it turns out, we can rest assured that Master Jedi Luke Skywalker's story is not done in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII, which hits theaters in December 2017. He is still a very big part of this saga. And Mark Hamill will be growing back his Jedi beard in time for Star Wars: Episode IX to start shooting, which will likely take place in 2018.

Art above by the amazing Jeronimo Gomez. Go follow him on Instagram.

B. Alan Orange