Who played Luke Skywalker in ‘The Mandalorian’?
Ever since the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, fans have wondered who the person behind the special effects was for the computer-generated Luke Skywalker. It turns out it was Mark Hamill who was brought back and digitally de-aged to play his younger self as Luke Skywalker.
This behind-the-scenes information was shown in a documentary episode detailing how the crew pulled off one of the biggest reveals in recent Star Wars memory. Hamill was interviewed in the Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian episode that dove into the big Luke Skywalker moment and let fans in on how it was kept secret and eventually pulled off.
The episode aired on Wednesday and gives fans plenty of content featuring Hamill holding Grogu (the artist formerly known as The Child, or, more commonly, Baby Yoda). If you remember what a hit the behind-the-scenes photo of George Lucas holding said little green guy was, then you’ll understand how the internet has responded to these photos & videos.
The episode addresses one of the biggest questions following the cameo – that is, how something so major was kept under wraps (especially when the entire plot of The Rise of Skywalker was leaked online months before the movie hit theaters in 2019). The crew have stated that they avoided using the name Luke Skywalker while filming, and kept the amount of people witnessing it small.
Digital de-aging technology was used after Mark Hamill was filmed saying Luke’s lines from every possible angle to make the final effects as seamless as possible. This was then combined with a double for a younger Luke, played by Matt Rugetti. The result is still a bit uncanny-valley, but impressive nonetheless.
So how did we get here? Everyone knows the legend of Luke Skywalker, the farm boy from Tatooine raised by his aunt & uncle. Luke’s journey in A New Hope has resonated with many over the years. His desire to see more of the galaxy and to make something of himself transcends the fantasy, sci-fi genre that Star Wars lives in.
Everything changes for Luke when he gets a big crush on his sister. No? Sorry, that’s how we remember it. Anyways, he witnesses a plea for help from Leia Organa, and is off to the rescue. He rescues the princess, blows up the bad guys, and saves the day.
Luke later goes to Dagobah to train under Yoda, another, slightly bigger little green guy than the one he’d later pick up on The Mandalorian. Luke then had one of the biggest days of his life, when he lost his hand and learned what Vader means in German.
In the final showdown between Luke & Vader in Return of the Jedi, Luke proved that he was a hero not because he was a ruthless killer, but because he refused to be. His love for his father saved him while his friends took down the Empire and saved the galaxy.
After the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke opened up a training temple for force-sensitive students. It’s during this time that The Mandalorian takes place, and why he’s the one who shows up to help Grogu when he’s captured by Moff Gideon.
The Mandalorian season 2
Season 2 of The Mandalorian resumed the fun adventure-of-the-week storyline that began in season 1. In “The Heiress”, he meets Bo Katan Kryze, another Mandalorian who fans recognized from The Clone Wars and Rebels. He also meets Ahsoka Tano, who gives him advice on how to be a Jedi dad.
By the time “The Tragedy” rolls around, Gideon’s forces catch up to Din & Grogu, and they kidnap the child. The remaining two episodes of season 2 are focused on Din doing whatever it takes to get his son back.
In the finale, Luke Skywalker shows up to take Grogu to Jedi boarding school. His arrival was met with mixed responses from fans. Many loved watching Star Wars play the hits, while others felt it was a fan-service cameo that did nothing for Din as a character (similar complaints have been leveled at Ahsoka Tano’s presence earlier in the season).
What do you think? Were you happy to see Luke Skywalker show up? Do you wish it had been Plo Koon? Is it time for Star Wars to grow beyond its greatest hits? Let us know!