When Mark Hamill said that The Rise of Skywalker would be his final time playing Luke Skywalker, most fans believed him, and the actor probably did himself at the time. After all, the Star Wars legend had hardly been shy in voicing his disappointment at the way The Last Jedi handled his long-awaited return to a galaxy far, far away, and with the nine-movie saga drawn to a close after 42 years, it was time for a new generation to pick up the baton.
Then Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni came calling with a wild and crazy idea, one that they somehow managed to keep under wraps right up until The Mandalorian‘s Season 2 finale, which proceeded to break the internet. Fans went into meltdown when a mysterious hooded figure showed up just in the nick of time to slice and dice their way through Moff Gideon’s henchmen, and then they collectively lost their sh*t when it turned out to be Luke.
The de-aging technology might not have been 100% convincing, but seeing Hamill interact with Mando and Baby Yoda was a cross-generational Star Wars event for the ages. In a new interview, the 69-year-old revealed his return was partly inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which had become fond of the de-aging process having applied it to Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Douglas and more over the years.
“When they went from the original trilogy to the sequels, obviously there was this huge gap in time, where there’s all these untold stories. But I just assumed they’d get an age-appropriate actor, you know? And I didn’t really think about it all that much. I just thought, ‘If they wanna tell stories of Luke post- Return of the Jedi , I wonder who they’ll get?’. When they said they were gonna use the de-aging process they used in the Marvel movies, I was just gobsmacked!”
We can only hope that Lucasfilm and Disney don’t get too carried away and start bringing back a number of veteran Star Wars players, because Rogue One‘s Moff Tarkin and the young Princess Leia from the Sequel Trilogy hardly drew widespread praise, but Luke’s shocking comeback perfectly fit The Mandalorian‘s remit as an intergalactic adventure dripping in fan service.