It’s fair to say that season two of The Mandalorian has been jam-packed with great cameos and castings, with animated Star Wars characters Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan Kryze brought back to life in live-action while original trilogy foe Boba Fett was just brought back to life generally to finally show off what the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter can do.
However, it was the season two finale that really pushed the boat out, delivering the cameo to end all cameos… with a twist... while firmly connecting The Mandalorian to the wider Star Wars universe.
Warning: major spoilers arrive from hereon out.
As the Dark Troopers raged, it seemed like everything was over for our heroes and they couldn’t possibly escape. But luckily, Grogu’s call to the universe a few weeks ago had found an answer, with a robed Jedi cutting his way through the droids to rescue the Child and his protectors.
With a green lightsaber, a nifty belt and some serious moves fans may have begun to suspect who was coming to save the day… but when Luke Skywalker finally unmasked, it was still quite a shock.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian (Disney)Yes, Mark Hamill (credited at the end of the episode) made his return for the Disney+ series as a younger post-Return of the Jedi Luke (accompanied by R2-D2), with the de-aged effect apparently achieved with a combination of visual effects and a body double (and not just by casting Sebastian Stan like some fans had hoped) accompanied by Hamill’s voice.
The body double? English actor Max Lloyd Jones (War for the Planet of the Apes, Once Upon a Time), who does definitely have an air of a young Mark Hamill about him.
The final effect wasn’t quite seamless, but it was still a barnstorming moment in The Mandalorian’s history that also served to remind fans of just how powerful the young Luke was.
Exactly what’s next for Luke in The Mandalorian is unclear. Having taken Grogu into his care, could he turn up for more cameos? Will Baby Yoda fall foul of Kylo Ren’s attack on the Jedi Temple in a few years, or will he have rejoined his adoptive father (Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin) before then?
For now, it’s unclear, but look – Star Wars fans got to see Luke Skywalker in action at least one more time. Showrunner Jon Favreau really knows what to give for an early Christmas present.
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