Mark Hamill contemplates death in ‘Return of the Jedi’ BTS photo

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Image via Lucasfilm

It’s said that a Jedi “shall not know anger, nor hatred, nor love,” but the Star Wars tradition of coming back as a Force ghost implies that every master will meditate on death at some point in their lives. For Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, this process apparently started way back during the events of Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

A lot of people would say that Star Wars is essentially the story of Anakin Skywalker, his rise to power, his fall from grace, and ultimately, his redemption at the hands of Luke. But from a traditionalist’s perspective, Luke is actually the ultimate hero of the galaxy far, far away, or rather, the person who gave meaning to the concept of the hero’s journey in cinema.

To understand just how impactful Mark Hamill’s character has been in the pop culture domain, one need not look any further than the season two finale of The Mandalorian, where the return of the legendary Jedi Master generated tidal waves throughout the online community.

If you’re one of those people who miss the old days, specifically the original trilogy, you should be warned that this photo of Mark Hamill cradling a skull at Jabba’s palace can make you extremely emotional. As can be seen below, this BTS photo is from Return of the Jedi, when the actor was only 33 years old.

Mark Hamill’s journey in Star Wars came to a close with The Rise of Skywalker, wherein the ghost of Luke encouraged Rey to face her lineage and stand up against the resurrected Emperor Palpatine. Though since Force ghosts are apparently immortal, a comeback somewhere down the line isn’t entirely out of the question for the character.