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Mark Hamill trims his beard, teases fans about 'Episode IX'

Hamill sparks fan speculation about the fate of Luke Skywalker in the "Force Awakens" sequel.

Luke Skywalker was a clean-shaven Jedi in the original Star Wars movies. When it came time to film "The Force Awakens" in 2015, his contract required him to sport a beard. "I'm not really a beard person," Skywalker actor Mark Hamill told Entertainment Weekly.

That's probably why Hamill looks so happy about getting his beard trimmed off in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

The video shows a close-up of Hamill's face as an electric trimmer mows through his thick facial hair, leaving him with a ghost of a goatee. A jaunty soundtrack goes along with it.

Hamill writes that he hasn't seen his chin since May 2015 and bids his facial fur goodbye "at least til #EpisodeIX." That little aside at the end is of particular interest to Star Wars fans.

After losing a beloved original character in "The Force Awakens," Star Wars fans have felt like nobody is safe. Hamill's note about growing the beard back for "Episode IX" seems to hint that Luke will survive "Episode VIII," which is due in theaters in 2017. Nothing is guaranteed, though. There are always flashbacks or holograms to consider.