Disney may have decreed that almost everything before April 2014 was no longer canon but that also means everything released since can be considered relevant to the ongoing movies.
One of the concerns most relevant to fan discontent over The Last Jedi was the abrupt dismissal of Luke Skywlalker after a particularly divisive appearance.
All fans want him back for Episode 9, Mark Hamill is confirmed to be filming and, until recently, he was assumed to be shooting either Force ghost scenes or flashbacks.
Some fans, however, insist on nothing less than Luke being brought back to life, which seemed extremely unlikley, not to mention impossible. Until now.
A remarkable new canon storyline introduces the concept that people can be brought back from the dead – and the means to do so may lie on Mustafar, created by Luke’s own father.
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 22: Fortress Vader, Part IV is the twenty-second issue of the long-running comic book series Star Wars: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith.
The latest issue #22 Part IV introduces the terrifying power of the Sith Lord Momin, who even Palpatine regarded as a dangerous heretic and whose life force lives on in a terrible mask which the Emperor gifts to Vader.
More than simply preserving his life force in a mask and being able to possess others, Momin also turns out to know the secret to bringing people back from the dead.
The new comicbook is starting to explore the idea that Vader uses Momin to design the castle on Mustafar over powerful Dark Side energies as a conduit for bringing back Padme.
There have been reports that Star Wars 9 plans to shoot sequences on Mount Etna, which was used previously for Mustarfar.
This already raises the tantalising possibility of Kylo Ren returning to his grandfather’s fortress to seek secret powers or artefacts. Imagine if Vader had moved Padme’s tomb there in preparation for a ritual he never completed. That alone would make an extraordinary and fan-pleasing scene.
But what if somehow the castle were used instead to bring back Luke?
Tempting as this thought may be, it immediately hits some major problems.
Firstly it has not been revealed yet whether Vader and Momin’s plans were ever completed. Secondly, this all relates to Dark Side power and why would anyone on that side wish to bring back one of the greatest champions of the Light? Thirdly, many fans may wish to undo much of the Last Jedi but Disney would never directly undermine a canon movie that was still, by any measure, a box office success.
This leaves another, even more extreme option, relating to the Whills.
These mystical beings transcend common understandings of life and existence. They have brought people back to life before, but only for limited periods to resolve unfinished business.
This woudl be a poignant way for one last appearance of Luke, but seems too far beyond anything which has been addressed before on screen.
Another section of the fandom is clinging to a hope that Luke’s body on Ahch-To was yet another Force projection, channeling the power of the sacred temple there, meaning his is still alive somewhere else.
Unfortunately this does not explain why his robes would be there, ready to drift to the ground as he fades away. Even more importantly, the novelisation of the film makes it clear that Luke lets go of his life force and allows himself to surrender and be absorbed into the Force.
Luke returning alive in Episode 9 is a grand and bold dream, but one that is unlikely to be made reality.