When Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker appeared in The Mandalorian season two finale, Star Wars fans had many questions. Many wondered how such an important addition to the show was kept under such tight wraps, whether it was the digitally de-aged Hamill himself playing the character or were his features superimposed on the face of another actor? While the rest of the questions will be (hopefully) eventually answered, we have the answer to the second question via our first official peek at the behind-the-scenes footage from the season two finale.
Recently, Disney Plus released an official video highlighting its new releases in August 2021. Halfway through the video, you can catch a brief look at the upcoming Disney Gallery episode, set to debut on August 25, focusing on the season two finale of The Mandalorian. The fleeting teaser from the episode features the behind-the-scene moment of the biggest surprise in the finale episode- the arrival of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It has been speculated for months now that Hamill only voiced the character and a body double (listed in the credits of the episode) filmed his scenes in the finale, while the actor’s face was digitally added later. It was even rumored that the actor wasn’t even on set when this important scene was being shot.
But the teaser of the documentary series, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, episode two, puts all the theories to rest as at the 0.55 mark. There is brief footage of Mark Hamill holding the animatronic Grogu. This proves that he indeed filmed the scene where he meets Din Djarin and Team for the first time and whisks away Baby Yoda for good.
Ever since Grogu used the Force to connect with a Jedi on the planet Tython and was kidnapped by Moff Gideon, many theories cropped up as Star Wars fans were trying to guess who this mystery Jedi would be. The theories ranged from the arrival of Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) to the appearance of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Initially, the latter was majorly discarded as a plausible theory as Hamill had been more than vocal in stressing that he has no plans nor desire to ever reprise the role of the Jedi master. But as Luke Skywalker remained a possible candidate because of the time period The Mandalorian takes place in, many speculated that another actor (Sebastian Stan being the prime candidate) could play the role of the young Luke.
Thus as the season two finale neared its conclusion and a lone X-Wing fighter came into focus, viewers were sure that they will be seeing a new face playing the role of Luke Skywalker. It would be an understatement to say that Star Wars fans were floored when Luke Skywalker showed his face after dispatching a troop of deadly Dark Troopers- it was Mark Hamill! But as the episode credits listed actor Max Lloyd-Jones as the stand-in for the character, many were doubtful about the extent of Hamill’s involvement in shooting the memorable scene.
The Mandalorian showrunner, Jon Favreau has already answered some of the queries and established that Mark Hamill was actually present on set to film his cameo in the finale, and VFX technology was used to de-age his face. So, what role did actor Lloyd-Jones play in the scene? While we are relying on the upcoming Disney Gallery episode to give a detailed answer, it appears that the Lloyd-Jones was only brought in to film the high-octane action sequence preceding the scene where Luke takes Grogu away to help him in unlocking the potential of his powers