Mark Hamill has got his way, and Luke Skywalker’s beard is apparently no more.
The contractually-obligated beard that the Star Wars franchise star never particularly liked is gone, according to photos of Hamill — and that is particularly notable as production on Episode IX is underway this summer.
For years, Mark Hamill has adorned an impressive beard, which helped him portray an older Luke Skywalker who had abandoned his life as a Jedi to live in isolation on Ahch-To. The character gave his life to save the Resistance in The Last Jedi, while Hamill himself has shaved off the impressive facial hair.
Some fans have already speculated that Hamill’s lack of facial hair might be indicative that his Force Ghost will look like a somewhat younger, more idealistic version of himself, not unlike what happened in Return of the Jedi, when Anakin’s Force ghost did not look like Darth Vader but like his younger self.
The beard was originally grown for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and shaven after the movie wrapped. Hamill re-grew it for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it seems odd that, despite confirming an appearance in Episode IX, he would remove the beard so close to the beginning of production unless the script specifically called for it to be gone.
The actor shared a photo of himself on Twitter with a cane featuring the face of the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series, a character he voiced, though many fans were startled to see Hamill clean-shaven given that he’s had a beard or goatee for years.
With the confirmation that Billy Dee Williams would be featured in Episode IX, we won’t be surprised to discover that Hamill is also involved in the production, yet the studio might also aim to keep this fact a secret in hopes of delivering fans a surprise, much like Yoda’s appearance in The Last Jedi.
Episode IX lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.
Do you think Hamill’s shave hints at a return to the galaxy far, far way? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @RussBurlingame on Twitter.