Will Luke Skywalker appear in The Mandalorian?
Grogu and Mando are hunting for a Jedi Master in the Star Wars series - but will it be Luke, Mace Windu, Ezra Bridger or someone else entirely?
As Season 2 of Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian hits its stride, the first five episodes have been a Kessel Run of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and previously retconned Expanded Universe canon - but it was November 27th’s “Chapter 13: The Jedi” that really began to hint how the series will tie into the wider Star Wars universe.
Alongside the reveal of Baby Yoda’s real name and the long-awaited introduction of Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, director Dave Filoni put the pieces in place for where the story goes next – and it’s here that Filoni could’ve cued up the arrival of the most famous Jedi of them all.
But did “The Jedi” really set the stage for the arrival of Luke Skywalker? It’s time to put on your tinfoil (sorry, beskar) hats for another jump into the hyperspace of wild Star Wars theories.
While Ahsoka shirked the responsibility of training Baby Yoda, aka Grogu, herself, she tasked Din Djarin with taking the bouncing bundle of midi-chlorians to a ruined Jedi temple on Tython, place him on a seeing stone at the top of the mountain, and reach out into the Force to see if another comes looking for him.
Ahsoka herself admitted it’s a long shot because “there aren’t many Jedi left” – but there are still a few prime candidates for who could become the next Qui-Gon Jinn or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starting with the most obvious...
Return of the Jedi
It’s no secret that Mark Hamill’s legendary turn as Luke Skywalker has made him one of the most famous sci-fi actors around, and in turn Luke Skywalker is arguably the best-known name in the galaxy far, far away. Aside from a few flashbacks to Luke’s doomed Jedi Academy and knowing he holed up on Ahch-To in the aftermath, his whereabouts between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens are largely unknown. That’s a hefty 30-year gap that The Mandalorian neatly fits into.
Luke taking up Grogu’s mentorship would be a neat twist to the tale and echo the events of The Empire Strikes Back where Luke headed to Dagobah to be trained by Master Yoda. Picture the scene where Ahsoka and Djarin go looking for OG Yoda, only to find out he’s passed away (in the events of Empire) and find a grizzled Luke in his place.
Imagine a Karate Kid-inspired montage where Grogu is the one under the tutelage of Luke. In fact, before “The Jedi” even premiered, a Reddit theory from u/TheMediocreCritic posed this exact storyline and explained how there could be a heartwarming moment where Luke learns more about his father via Ahsoka being Anakin’s former protégé.
As with all these Star Wars theories, there are more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Despite Hamill having a relatively small role in Disney’s sequel trilogy, it would seem strange that the subject of Baby Yoda wasn’t mentioned to Rey or even Force Ghost Yoda. Unless some tragic fate befalls Grogu, we have to assume he’s still alive and kicking around the time of Luke’s self-imposed exile to Ahch-To.
Added to this, there’s Hamill himself. The franchise has previously used de-aged versions of Grand Moff Tarkin, Leia, and even Luke, but the jury’s out on whether it would’ve been better to completely recast. Although there are legions of fans who’d love the star to return, he previously told Entertainment Weekly he’s put down his lightsaber for good.
Discussing a possible return, the 69-year-old confessed, “Oh, I can’t imagine that, no,” then admitted he’d had a good run. This brings us neatly onto another Hollywood megastar who could fill those robes.
It’s no secret that Marvel Cinematic Universe favourite Sebastian Stan is a dead ringer for young Hamill. Back in 2017, Stan appeared at Rhode Island Comic-Con and put his name forward, saying, “I just want to say here that anytime anyone would like to call me and ask me about Luke Skywalker, I’d be very happy.”
In a show that’s already bagged big names including Pedro Pascal and Rosario Dawson, Stan would be in great company - assuming, of course, that Luke is the Jedi we're looking for.
Luke isn’t the only Jedi out there
If not Luke, then who else? Despite Ahsoka’s solemn reminder that the Jedi are few and far between, there’s are a couple more big names who could rise to the challenge. Notably, aside from Grogu another big name drop in the episode that left jaws on the floor was the confirmation that Grand Admiral Thrawn is out there somewhere.
Filoni had already told fans that Thrawn survived being pulled into hyperspace by tentacled creatures in the Rebels finale, where the blue baddy’s plan was undone by series hero Ezra Bridger. This could suggest that Bridger is the Jedi ready to take Grogu under his wing. After all, season two of The Mandalorian has already introduced live-action versions of Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka, so Ezra Bridger could be the icing on the cake.
Or maybe our hero is a different live-action Jedi. Let’s dive deep into tinfoil territory with an altogether more out-there theory: isn’t it about time we gave Mace Windu another chance? Easily the standout star of George Lucas' maligned prequel trilogy was Samuel L. Jackon’s as Mace Windu, with the Pulp Fiction actor adored by fans and even choosing his own signature purple lightsaber.
Yes, the general consensus is that Mace died when Palpatine blasted him out a window with Force Lightning, but if soap operas have taught us anything it’s that if you haven’t seen a body, they probably aren’t dead. It’s a massive stretch to imagine Mace training Grogu, but then again, both Jackson and Lucas have agreed they think Mace Windu is alive - we might as well make it canon.
Overall, whatever Favreau, Filoni, and the writers are working on it’s clear that three’s a crowd. If Mando drops Grogu off to be trained by some mysterious Jedi, is he supposed to just wait in the wings? Surely there has to be another Jedi twist to keep us guessing?
Still, whether Ahsoka’s sage advice was leading to a Jedi legend lurking in the cosmos or it’s a tease too far, rest assured that The Mandalorian is guaranteed to keep us guessing.
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