All ‘Fetts’ are off as Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett gallops toward its thrilling season 1 finale. Although there have been complaints that the first chapter of Book should be rebranded as The Mandalorian season 2.5, the Mos Espa Daimyo’s narrative merging with Din Djarin’s means we’ve actually been able to dive deeper into the complex lore of the franchise.


So far it’s been a who’s who of Mando faces, with other nods to the further past as Djarin picked up a nostalgic ship from Peli Motto. However, it was February 2nd’s From the Desert Comes a Stranger that really set up the future of The Mandalorian. While doing all the usual world-building, yet another Diet Mando episode managed to fix The Mandalorian season 2's biggest mistake - a certain floppy-haired Jedi’s return.

First, some background – because really, the Book of Boba Fett just featured a continuation of Luke Skywalker's post-Return of the Jedi arc that started in The Mandalorian season 2. Back then, jaws were left on the floor when Luke stepped aboard Moff Gideon’s cruiser, made light work of his Death Trooper platoon, and met with our heroes. From the moment a familiar X-wing flew into shot, director Peyton Reed delivered one of the most iconic Star Wars scenes of all time. Mark Hamill himself reprised his role as a much younger Luke, however, most agreed he looked a little janky.

Young(er) Luke was back in The Book of Boba Fett, but more than just the return of a familiar face, it was the return of a much better face. The Twitterverse exploded with love for Luke’s glow up, and it turns out there’s an actual reason behind it. Following Luke’s tepid appearance in The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm hired a YouTuber called Shamook as a Senior Facial Capture Artist. They’d gone viral for their own rendering of Luke, which showed how easy it should’ve been to de-age the franchise favourite. The December 2021 deepfake has been viewed over 3.5 million times, and Lucasfilm later confirmed the hire (via IndieWire).

Hyping Shamook’s skills, a spokesperson explained, “[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona ‘Shamook’. Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it’s been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances.” From what little we’ve seen of their work, it looks they were the right person for the job.

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It’s great news that Lucasfilm has managed to improve its de-ageing process, which has been a sticking point before. When 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story included younger versions of both Leia Organa and Moff Tarkin, audiences were split on whether these were spooky doppelgangers for Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing or clanky clones. The tragic passing of Fisher the same year meant she couldn’t be de-aged for The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. The baton was instead handed over to her own daughter, Billie Lourd, to provide the base visuals of young Leia in the movie’s flashbacks. Again, it wasn't perfect. Still, neither of these compared to Luke’s Mando controversy.

As well as hopes we’ll see more of de-aged Luke before The Book of Boba Fett wraps, there’s plenty of room for him to pop up in Mando season 3, or even a spin-off to fill in the gaps in his timeline. There are some 25 years between Luke training Grogu and him throwing his lightsaber off a cliff on Ahch-To. With the franchise ditching some questionable CGI for different methods, it means this untapped period of history can bring back its stars without having to recast. Then again, there will always be those that keep championing Sebastian Stan to portray a young Luke Skywalker.

Really, the real question now is who's destined to get the next de-ageing treatment. Let's remember there's a High Republic era show called The Acolyte coming up that seems primed to give the mothballed Yoda puppet some youthful regeneration.

As for The Book of Boba Fett, fans are expecting a similar Mando-worthy cameo before we close the cover on season 1, with a younger Han Solo being a popular choice. If not, the tech could be used for the return of Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra as an older version of her Solo: A Star Wars Story self.

Either way, this new and improved Luke Skywalker proves you’re only as old as the CGI wizards makes you feel. Or, to paraphrase Master Yoda himself: "When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not. Unless a deepfake expert, you hire at ILM."


The Book of Boba Fett releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney Plus. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.