[The following article contains massive spoilers from The Mandalorian Season 2 finale.]
The Mandalorian Season 2 has left Star Wars fans reeling with the feats they pulled off, especially its finale that left jaws hanging with the cameo appearance of Mark Hamill's legendary Jedi master Luke Skywalker. But unlike the leaks about Rosario Dawson's debut as Ahsoka Tano, apart from the speculations about the Jedi who would rescue Baby Grogu, there was no hint that the actor was willing to reprise his role. In fact, Hamill is in shock that though he had been prepping up for his appearance in the show for over a year, it was not spoiled by prior leaks.
Much before Disney+ accidentally posted the news about Rosario Dawson being chosen to play the first-live action appearance of the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano in the series, the rumour mills had been churning with the countless leaks that had confirmed her casting. But in the case of Mark Hamill reprising the beloved character of Luke Skywalker, there wasn't even a whisper of the possibility that it was going to happen.
But as Luke Skywalker's entry in The Mandalorian was highly probable, many had been theorizing how the character would be recast and a young actor would play the role as not only was the process of digitally de-aging Hamill costly and difficult but also, he had himself, strongly denied the chances of him reprising the character. Turns out, it was all a ruse to keep the big news under wraps and it worked!
"The fact that we were able to keep my involvement a secret for over a year with no leaks is nothing less than a miracle," Mark Hamill tweeted on Saturday. "A real triumph for spoiler-haters everywhere!"
The season finale of The Mandalorian saw Luke Skywalker slicing through the menacing Dark Troopers in Darth Vader-style and whisking away Baby Grogu to give him the training he needs to properly channel his powers. Contrary to many reports that the entire sequence starting from Luke entering Moff Gideon's ship to him bidding farewell with Baby Grogu was actually played by actor Max Lloyd-Jones with Hamill's CGI'd face, it wasn't all him.
Yes, the episode credits list actor Max Lloyd-Jones as the stand in for Luke, Jon Favreau has confirmed to Good Morning America that Hamill didn't just lend his voice for Luke but was also present on the set to film his cameo after which his face was de-aged using VFX technology.
"We started off the whole series with the Baby Yoda reveal - with the Grogu reveal - that was a secret that everybody was really blown away by. Part of that is not telling too many people, not having merchandise that's being tooled up and announced and everything. And then the very last episode having Mark Hamill actually on set filming and us using whatever technology we had available to de-age him and try to make him look as much like he did in the old films."
While he provided no further explanation, it can be deduced that Lloyd-Jones probably came in to play the badass action sequence before Luke came face-to-face with Grogu. Even though the CGI'd Jedi wasn't perfect, it was still a treat to see Mark Hamill reprise his iconic role. You can catch Favreau's complete chat with GMA here.