Mark Hamill drops Star Wars casting tease cloaked in mystery

Is Luke Skywalker set to make an appearance in Episode IX, or is it just a certain item of his clothing?

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

Who's ready for some big casting news from Star Wars: Episode IX? Here it is, straight from Mark Hamill himself. 

On Wednesday, the actor tweeted "BREAKING NEWS: #StarWars #EpisodeIX writer/director JJ Abrams casts Empty Robe in latest installment of much anticipated space-saga."

OK, so the actor who plays Luke Skywalker is just having a little fun with Star Wars devotees. He knows that despite (spoiler!) certain events of The Last Jedi, many viewers would like to see his character return to wrap up the space saga in December 2019. But with this joke, he seemed to hint that there's truly nothing left of Luke to show up.

Fans on Twitter appeared to take the joke in stride.

Teased one fan, "Wow! This movie is cloaked in mystery." And another slyly said, "I heard it fundamentally disagrees with the direction (director) JJ (Abrams) is taking it in, as it prefers to be folded and kept in a drawer and not hung in a closet."

As to whether Hamill will actually appear, even in flashback or as a Force ghost, no one, not even the robe, will say.

Hamill's joked about this before. In May, he tweeted a mock action-figure set that was low on both the action and the figure. 

"IT'S OFFICIAL!!!" Hamill wrote then. "Episode 9: Return Of The "Dead" Guy CONFIRMED- Merchandising doesn't lie & this LUKE SKYWALKER (FORCE PROJECTED TO A NUDIST PLANET) Set including: Empty Robe-Meditation Rock & Missing Luke Figure DEFINITIVELY confirms my theory."

It's been a lively week for the actor. On Tuesday, Hamill thanked astronomer Roy A. Tucker, who announced last week he'd named an asteroid after the actor. 

"Thanks so much Roy!" Hamill wrote in reply. "I looked for it last night, but the visibility in Malibu was too hazy for me to see it. I'll try again tonight." He signed off as "110026 Hamill," the full name given to the asteroid.

Star Wars: Episode IX, with or without Luke and his robe, is set to open Dec. 20, 2019.

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