An upcoming canonical Star Wars book has confirmed a major revelation about Anakin Skywalker’s Force ghost that could eventually have a huge influence on The Rise of Skywalker. We know Anakin appeared at the very end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but now it’s confirmed that the redeemed Sith Lord kept in touch with his son post-mortem for many years.
Last week, the official Star Wars website announced an upcoming canonical book titled Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi that recounts the entire history of the Jedi order from Luke Skywalker’s perspective, and the preview included a number of sample pages about all sorts of things juicy topics from Force abilities to notable Jedi.
The aptly named tome reveals that Luke knew about the Old Republic, but also many details from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Luke knows about Ahsoka Tano, but he also knows that Qui-Gon Jinn and others received special training from “Ancient Force Priestesses” to learn how to become “Force spirits” after death, what most people refer to as “Force ghosts.”
Here’s where it gets interesting.
“That knowledge was passed down to a select few, including Obi-Wan, Yoda, and my father,” Luke writes in the “Spirits” section. “Their spirits guided me for many years but vanished when I shut myself off from the Force. It’s a relief to feel their presence after all this time.” (The perspective of this book makes it seem like Luke wrote all of this down during The Last Jedi as he opened himself back up to the Force.)
We can take this passage as canonical admission from Luke Skywalker himself that for the years after Return of the Jedi, he kept in consistent contact with the Force ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker.
We know from the Bloodline novel that Ben Solo destroyed Luke’s Jedi temple sometime between 28 and 33 years after the battle of Yavin — or between 24 and 29 years after Return of the Jedi. Shortly thereafter, he cut himself from the Force and exiled himself on Ahch-To. Therefore, at a bare minimum, Luke Skywalker was chatting to his father’s ghost regularly for more than two decades. If Anakin Skywalker truly was redeemed, what secrets did he learn in all those years serving the Empire as Darth Vader? How much of them might he have divulged to Luke?
Luke spent years after the Galactic Civil War ended searching for ancient Jedi texts and artifacts before discovering the temple he’d use to found his new Jedi academy. Most of this era remains a mystery, but his ongoing connection to Anakin could help us understand what happened.
For example, when Luke is drawn to the Emperor’s Observatory on Pillio during the Star Wars: Battlefront II story campaign, is he being led there by a recommendation straight from Darth Vader? The video game characterizes it as a vague calling from the Force, but now we can’t help but wonder if this was insider knowledge from Anakin. Darth Vader probably knew about many of the Emperor’s secrets, and some of them might just come to light in Rise of Skywalker.
Is it possible that Luke Skywalker appears in Rise of Skywalker as a Force ghost with secret knowledge passed on to him by Anakin that could explain how and why Palpatine returns? That now seems far more likely than it did before. Perhaps we’ll know more when this book arrives on store shelves about a month before Rise of Skywalker.
The Secrets of the Jedi will be available on November 19, 2019. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters December 20, 2019.