While The Force Awakens gathered a ton of hype for reuniting the original Star Wars cast for the first time in 30-plus years, Disney and Lucasfilm managed to ramp up the excitement for the upcoming eighth episode, #TheLastJedi, by leaving a lot of mysteries unsolved. Those mysteries includes the backstory of new protagonist Rey and the yet unseen adventures that led to the self-imposed exile of fan favorite #LukeSkywalker.
Despite being a major plot point of Episode VII, the original big-screen Padawan turned Jedi Master managed to soak up only about 30 seconds of screen time, with absolutely no dialogue. The first teaser for The Last Jedi featured Skywalker's first original dialog in over 30 years, and the filmmakers promise to show a side of the classic hero that audiences never thought they would see before.
However, Luke is not the only character #StarWars fans are eager to see. Since #Disney does such an excellent job of keeping plot and character details under wraps (How long did you all think Rey was the daughter of Han and Leia?), fans enjoy speculating what role the new kids on the block will play in the ongoing Skywalker saga, as well as which familiar faces they can count on to pop back up in this galaxy far, far away.
Here's a look at five fan-favorite characters the internet seems to think will appear in The Last Jedi.
1. Han Solo
Sure, Harrison Ford stepped into his old #HanSolo boots for Episode VII, and he seemed to have a good time doing it, so why wouldn't he return for Episode VIII?
Well, for starters, the character died, and while a lot of you fanboys are willing to suspend your disbelief enough to let the smuggler survive his fatal stabbing (courtesy of #KyloRen), it would cause the average viewer to lose respect for the film and take the story less seriously. Besides, Ford is rather proud of Solo's sacrifice, as it resembles the fate he thought the character deserved while filming The Empire Strikes Back.
There is one other possibility though: Han could return via Force vision. Despite his lack of physical presence, the captain very much exists in the hearts of many living characters — as a lover to Leia, a brother (of sorts) to Luke, a best friend to Chewbacca, a mentor to Rey and even a father to Kylo.
Rumors about #Yoda's return to the Star Wars franchise have been circulating ever since Frank Oz visited The Last Jedi set late last year. Since the puppeteer/voice actor also lent some new original dialogue to Rey's Force Vision in The Force Awakens, fans are fairly confident that we will, at the very least, hear a bit more from the late, great Jedi Master in Episode VIII.
Hypothetically, let's say it is confirmed that Yoda's spirt will appear in The Last Jedi; we have two questions. Firstly, who will he communicate with — Luke? Rey? Both? Secondly, how will he appear? The digital Yoda we saw in the Prequel Trilogy received both praise and criticism from Star Wars fans, but seeing as J.J. Abrams brought models and costumes back into play for The Force Awakens, maybe Rian Johnson wasn't against the notion of having a puppet on set as well.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Yoda was not the only deceased Jedi to be heard in Rey's vision; Ewan McGregor also recorded some lines for Episode VII, and many fans would be ecstatic to learn that he'd reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi once again.
However, the Jedi who introduced Luke Skywalker to the concept of the Force is much less likely to appear than Yoda, and here's why. Luke Skywalker has already communicated onscreen with the post-mortem spirt of Obi-Wan, and the character appeared as Luke knew him: in the likeness of the late Alec Guinness. It would simply not make sense to show Luke communicating with an Obi-Wan so much younger than the one he knew.
And let's nip this in the bud before you start talking about Disney's ability to digitally recreate an actor's former likeness — it's not going to happen. While the practice has been praised when applied to the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and most recently Pirates of the Caribbean, Lucasfilm dealt with a lot of backlash when they digitally recreated the character of Grand Moff Tarkin in #RogueOne, mostly due to the question of morality involving the use of a deceased person's likeness (in this case, character actor Peter Cushing). Despite the success of the film, it is unlikely Disney would elect to draw that sort of negative criticism again.
4. Anakin Skywalker
Perhaps the most criticized performer in the entire Star Wars saga, Hayden Christensen drew a lot of attention in 2017 when he attended Star Wars Celebration for the first time since the release of his last film of the franchise, Revenge of the Sith. Since then, internet theorists have been pondering the possibility that the eldest Skywalker might appear in The Last Jedi.
The probability does not seem too low, seeing as one of the most popular theories concerning Rey's heritage is that she is actually a reincarnation of the Jedi once called The Chosen One. Should Anakin appear as a Jedi spirt, there's actually a number of characters he would likely reach out to — Rey, who finds herself facing the same challenges he once did; Luke, his son who struggles with his own faith in the Jedi Order; or Kylo Ren, his grandson, who has been severely misguided by the Dark Side of the Force.
Would you like to see Hayden Christensen reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi'?
5. Lando Calrissian
Unfortunately, Billy Dee Williams has already confirmed that he will NOT appear in The Last Jedi, but there are still some hopeful fans out there!
Since such minor characters as Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb made appearances in The Force Awakens, many fans were disappointed that absolutely no reference was made to fan favorite Lando Calrissian. Williams even stated that he was not approached for a role in the film, and humorously defended Lucasfilm's decision, but with hope that he would be included in the next film:
"I have a feeling I’m going to show up. There’s nothing I can really discuss about it at this stage. People think of me as the original cast, but I didn’t come in until the second movie. I did Empire and then I did Return of the Jedi, but I came in after everyone else was introduced...So I think they’re probably proceeding in that way. I can’t imagine them not bringing Lando back."
At least we'll get to see a new portrayal of the character in the upcoming Han Solo anthology film, where he will be played by Atlanta star Donald Glover.
What Star Wars character would you most like to see in Episode VIII, or other upcoming films? Let us know in the comment section below!