Was Mark Hamill in the Mandalorian?
Mark Hamill may have returned to the role of Luke Skywalker for The Mandalorian's season two finale – but his voice did not. Season two of Disney Plus's Star Wars spin-off series ended with a dramatic cameo from Hamill, with de-aging technology used to make the actor appear time period-appropriate. The IndependentThe Mandalorian: Luke Skywalker wasn’t actually voiced by Mark Hamill for season finale appearance
27 August, 2021 - 02:30pm
The original trilogy of Star Wars movies concluded with Luke Skywalker helping bring his father back from the Dark Side to overthrow Emperor Palpatine to end the Galactic Civil War, making whatever adventures that were to come potentially being far less daunting than this ordeal, though Mark Hamill recently compared his character's journey to that of James Bond. In Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian - "Making of the Season 2 Finale," Hamill noted that he thought only witnessing Luke's journey to becoming a Jedi would be like denying audiences the opportunity to see Bond at the height of his abilities.
“I remember joking with George [Lucas], I said, ‘You know, when [Star Wars:] Return of the Jedi ends, it’s all over for me. That would almost be like taking three movies to tell you how James Bond earned his license to kill — and then it’s over. No Dr. No, no Goldfinger. No From Russia with Love,’" Hamill shares in the special of his desire to reprise the role. "And I was joking, but it did occur to me that he went from a farm boy, then to a trainee to a Jedi, and then it’s over. So it was nice to have a rare look at what he would be doing prior to establishing the Jedi Academy but post-Jedi.”
As most Star Wars fans could tell you, even though Luke's live-action journey might have concluded for decades with Return of the Jedi, a series of novels, comic books, and video games delivered fans his further exploits. Given that these stories weren't directly crafted by George Lucas and would sometimes contradict other stories, they weren't officially canon and were instead known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio solidified that the official canon was only comprised of the six live-action films and the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, relegating the SWEU to the "Legends" corner of the mythology.
The next time audiences saw Luke in live-action was the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while Star Wars: The Last Jedi explored without explicitly depicting that the Jedi's adventures over the years saw him lose faith in the Force and the teachings of the Jedi, only to embrace those ideals in his final moments so he could help save the Resistance.
Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian - "Making of the Season 2 Finale" is now streaming on Disney+.
What did you think of Luke Skywalker's return? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!
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27 August, 2021 - 01:40pm
Artoo’s appearance in The Mandalorian was not nearly so dramatic as Luke’s. The droid didn’t have a big unveiling, nor cut through an army of Dark Troopers. But he was pivotal in the scene, not least for his brief (but memorable and cute) interaction with Grogu, the kind of meeting that inspired great fan theories (did R2-D2 save Grogu from Order 66?), but also helped elevate an already great scene even even further.
The return of R2-D2 was a key factor in Luke's appearance happening, as discussed in Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2, "Making of Season 2 Finale." There, show creator Jon Favreau talks about how Artoo was always his favorite Star Wars character growing up, and there's a clear excitement in being able to feature him. The documentary also shows just how important it was to have Grogu and R2-D2 interact. As Dave Filoni mentions, there's a "huge responsibility" in putting the character they created next to someone like R2-D2, but it's necessary to show that Grogu is a character who, for The Mandalorian, represents what the original trilogy characters did so long ago; that he can stand with them and is worthy of it. Filoni says:
"Growing up with Star Wars, you never think you're going to be a part of making it. You know for Jon, I think it's so special to have a character like Grogu, who can stand next to R2-D2, in the same frame, and talk to him. You don't even imagine that. And it's a huge responsibility to put that character next to those characters... For a generation of kids, Grogu represents something that Artoo represented to me, that Yoda represented to me. That's a magic, special character, that we take very good care of I hope."
Wherever Luke goes, R2-D2 is there, from the very beginnings in Tatooine, through his Jedi training, when his return was first teased in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and to help him see the error of his ways in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As Filoni explains in the documentary, Luke in The Mandalorian means Artoo in The Mandalorian. That’s not just a simple matter of fact, but a necessity. Luke’s return to Star Wars is something of a fever dream; a ballistic, balletic sequence of shock, excitement, awe, and wonder that takes you on a journey from “it can’t be, can it?” to “oh my God it is!"
However, this is Luke the Jedi Master at the peak of his powers, and as he arrives to take Grogu away there is a mythic quality to him, a larger than life figure far beyond the farmboy of 1977. R2-D2, then and now, is needed as an audience avatar, his comforting beeps and excitable whistles grounding The Mandalorian’s manic events in some semblance of reality and assuring viewers this is actually happening. Luke’s return could have happened without R2-D2, but whether it would’ve worked is another matter entirely.
26 August, 2021 - 07:39am
Yesterday, the highly-anticipated Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian special about the making of the Season 2 finale dropped on Disney+. The episode goes behind the scenes of Mark Hamill’s triumphant return to the Star Wars franchise as Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker.
Hamill has played the character for over 40 years, from George Lucas’s original trilogy — Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) — to the Skywalker Saga sequel trilogy, primarily in Rian Johnson’s controversial Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017).
When Skywalker swooped in to save bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and his Dark Trooper droids, he shocked everyone by also departing the Imperial cruiser with Grogu in tow.
Now, Season 2, Episode 16 (“The Rescue”) director Peyton Reed — who shared a sentimental moment with Hamill on social media after the episode originally aired — has posted a never-before-seen photo of the actor with Grogu, and it’s almost too cute for words.
— Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) August 25, 2021
The photo features Hamill — still clad in his Jedi robe — holding the Grogu figure in the air while gazing intently at him. The Star Wars actor appears to be standing in a garden.
At this time, Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni have not confirmed Hamill’s future involvement in the Star Wars universe, but a recent Comic Con @ Home poster featuring Skywalker and Grogu building a yellow lightsaber certainly indicates he will be back.
The type of CGI technology that was used to de-age Hamill for his Season 2 finale cameo is costly, so it is unknown if Skywalker will continue to be “played” by Return of the Jedi era Hamill, or if he will be recast — perhaps with Marvel Cinematic Universe star Sebastian Stan, who bears an uncanny resemblance [above] to Hamill’s portrayal of young Luke Skywalker [below].
It is, however, worth noting that Lucasfilm recently hired a popular deepfake creator, so they may be planning additional cameos, like Han Solo (Harrison Ford) or Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), in the future — or, they could be preparing for the rumored Luke Skywalker series reportedly starring Brie Larson as Mara Jade.
Since we know little about what exactly to expect in world of The Mandalorian moving forward, Skywalker and his new Padawan could show up in any or all of the saga’s upcoming shows — The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian Season 3, and Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.
When she's not planning her next Disney trip, Rebekah can be found spending time with her family, shopping for Lilly Pulitzer, buried in a good book, or doing yoga. She never misses Jeopardy and alternately wishes she lived in Beast's castle or was making the Kessel Run in the Millennium Falcon.
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