The first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer, and the confirmed return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), has sparked speculation Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley) could come under the tutelage of more Force Ghosts beyond Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
As argued by Nerdist, Luke’s voiceover says “We’ve passed on all we know,” a potential hint at the returns of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Yoda (Frank Oz), Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), and potentially even Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson).
Because writer-director J.J. Abrams has deemed The Rise of Skywalker a true saga finale — closing out not just the Sequel Trilogy, but all three Star Wars trilogies — it can be expected the ninth and final installment in the Skywalker Saga revisits other prominent figures from the past beyond Luke, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), and the Emperor.
Lastly, Nerdist points out McGregor and Oz loaned their voices to a Force vision experienced by Rey in The Force Awakens — before Oz fully reprised his role as Yoda in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi — is a sign Abrams intends to utilize the esteemed Jedi, who played pivotal roles in the development and stories of both Anakin and son Luke.
The filmmakers behind The Rise of Skywalker were able to keep McDiarmid’s on-set presence a complete secret until the revelation at Star Wars Celebration over the weekend — something that surprised even Abrams — making it possible other returning stars may have participated in similarly secretive filming.
Christensen, who last portrayed the tragic Anakin in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, said in a 2015 interview he would “absolutely” reprise the role “in a heartbeat.”
“Being a part of that world was a huge deal for me, and was a good four, five years of my life,” Christensen said. “I have fond memories and good friendships from that whole time. But I don’t know, if they ever gave me the call, I would sign up in a heartbeat.”
Christensen’s Prequel Trilogy co-star McGregor similarly hopes to step back into his role — in whatever form that may take — saying often, “I would totally do it, of course.”
Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20.