Mark Hamill was “stunned” to be asked to return as Luke Skywalker

It’s no secret that many Star Wars fans were displeased with how the sequel trilogy treated the character of Luke Skywalker, with some even suggesting that the legacy of the character had suffered afterward. However, fans would have a new surprise final memory of Luke when the character returned in his original trilogy form in the season finale of The Mandalorian season 2, an appearance that was far better received.

Speaking on The Tonight Show, actor Mark Hamill said his appearance on The Mandalorian was “unexpected.” Host Jimmy Fallon was one of the many fans thrilled to see Hamill back as the younger version of the iconic Jedi.

I had finished playing that part, and I never expected to do it again. I figured if they ever tell stories of Luke in that period, post the originals and pre-sequels, they would get an age-appropriate actor. So when [series creator] Jon Favreau and [producer] Dave Filoni told me about what they wanted to do, I was just stunned.

“A symbol of hope & optimism”

Skywalker arrived in The Mandalorian at a pivotal moment in the second season finale, “The Rescue,” when the titular Mandalorian gave Grogu permission to depart with Luke and R2D2 to complete his training.

Mark Hamill was de-aged through CGI for his role to keep his appearance in line with the original trilogy, using a body double and motion capture. The technology had previously been used in Rogue One to recreate Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin.

Writing on Twitter earlier this year, Hamill seemed to reference the general dissatisfaction from fans at how the character had been portrayed in the most recent films, telling director Peyton Reed that he was “so grateful to have been given the unexpected opportunity to revisit my character when he was still a symbol of hope & optimism.”

During his appearance on The Tonight Show, Hamill also mentioned that there will be a Mandalorian special on Disney+ next month focusing on the making the finale. It will extensively cover his cameo and how Disney pulled off the return. Hamill said that special “will answer a lot of your questions” when it drops on August 25.

Hamill will next be heard in the new Masters of the Universe series, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, where he will voice the main villain, Skeletor. Hamill will be joined by Game of Thrones alumni Lena Headey and Liam Cunningham alongside actors like Sarah Michelle Geller, Chris Wood, Alicia Silverstone and Dennis Haysbert. The series will premiere on July 23.

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