Star Wars' Next Movie Will Include Major Luke Skywalker Connection, Confirms Producer

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Luke Skywalker Star Wars movie Mark Hamill

Luke Skywalker once said "no one's ever really gone;" and according to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, that includes the original trilogy hero himself. 

At Star Wars Celebration 2023, Kennedy officially announced Daisy Ridley would be reprising her sequel trilogy role in Lucasfilm's next Star Wars film. 

Originally expected to release in 2025, the untitled film directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker, long after Luke's sacrificial death in The Last Jedi.

Luke Skywalker's Role in New Star Wars Movie

Luke Skywalker talking to Rey in The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars

In talking with GamesRadar+ about the next Star Wars film, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy referenced Rey's "promise to Luke" and how that's "the core of where we're going:"

“I think what’s always great about Star Wars is it’s a big galaxy, and we’re coming off what was a major war with the First Order. And now, Rey has made a promise to Luke and that’s really the core of where we’re going and what this story will be."

Through Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy and the MandoVerse on Disney+, Star Wars fans know Mark Hamill's Luke built a Jedi Academy and tried to rebuild the Jedi Order. 

However, his progress - and his padawans - were destroyed when Ben Solo fell to the Dark Side and became Kylo Ren

From the little fans know of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars story, Daisy Ridley's Rey will be following in her reluctant mentor's footsteps in rebuilding another Jedi Order once more. 

Kennedy continued, noting how Rey's next chapter creates the "opportunity to introduce new characters" and "start with something fresh:"

"And I think it offers just tremendous opportunity to introduce new characters and start with something fresh, because we culminated with what George [Lucas] was creating, and now we take all of that and move it to the next chapter.”

This isn't the first time Kennedy referenced Luke Skywalker's role in the upcoming film. In the weeks following the film's announcement at Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy explained Rey would be building a New Jedi Order "based on the text that she was given and that Luke imparted..."

Does Luke Skywalker Want Rey To Rebuild the Jedi?

While Luke Skywalker's influence in Rey's next film makes sense, Kathleen Kennedy's comments are somewhat contradictory. 

First of all, if the Lucasfilm President truly wants to "introduce new characters" and "move it to the next chapter," why this film? 

From what has been revealed about Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's movie, it sounds more like a sequel to The Rise of Skywalker than a fresh start, particularly since it involves another Jedi Master with the Skywalker name rebuilding an Order that failed twice before. 

Yes, it's true that it's intended to be a "New Order." But if so, why the need for the old texts?

After all, in The Last Jedi, Yoda told audiences that "page-turners, they were not" and that the library "contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess."

While some fans speculate Yoda's comment means he knows Rey took the texts, again, it's unclear. As for Rey's promise to Luke, that's somewhat confusing as well. 

In Episode IX, Luke only warned Rey that failing to face Palpatine would be the end of Jedi. He also gave her Leia's lightsaber, saying she was who would continue his sister's journey.  

At the moment, it seems that "the core" of the franchise's next installment is based on what Luke and Yoda may or may not have said to do.

While only time will tell if all will make sense, Kennedy's comments about the next Star Wars film and Luke Skywalker suggest a struggle to balance the past with the future.

Hopefully, Obaid-Chinoy and her team will find that balance ahead of Ridley's return. 

The next Star Wars film is currently aiming for a May 22, 2026 theatrical release.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.