It meant a lot to Mark Hamill to play Luke Skywalker one more time in the season two finale of The Mandalorian. But fans’ reaction to the top-secret reveal meant even more.
In a new behind-the-scenes look at the Star Wars Disney+ series that dropped this week, the beloved actor talked about being asked to be a part of the series and shared his concerns that Luke’s appearance would be leaked. He also noted the great delight he felt while watching fans react to the moment.
“Jon [Favreau] sent me links to reaction videos, which were just — I don’t get to see these things in the audience,” Hamil said on the Disney Gallery episode. “To see grown men cry and people screaming their heads off. It was really, really thrilling for me to see them enjoying it so much.”
Hamill, of course, was referring to the throng of fans who posted videos of themselves and others watching the finale in case something huge happened. Well, it did. Hamill returned (and kicked robot butt) as a de-aged Luke Skywalker. Fans were overjoyed in the videos, most breaking down into tears.
“We love the fans,” Hamill said. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here, talking to you. They are the most loyal, passionate group of people I’ve ever encountered. I just have deep gratitude for their enthusiasm over the years. I never expected that. It’s been something that I really cherish.”
The sci-fi icon also talked about how much he appreciated returning as a younger version of Luke, as he felt the character was a bit cheated after Return of the Jedi.
“I remember joking with George [Lucas], I said, ‘You know, when Return of the Jedi ends, it’s all over for me. That would almost be like taking three movies to tell you how James Bond earned his license to kill — and then it’s over. No Dr. No, no Goldfinger. No From Russia with Love.’ And I was joking, but it did occur to me that he went from a farm boy, then to a trainee to a Jedi, and then it’s over. So it was nice to have a rare look at what he would be doing prior to establishing the Jedi Academy but post-Jedi.”
Hamill also noted his deep concern the moment would be leaked. Favreau shared the same concern as other castings had been leaked. The result was the production going out of its way to creating several misdirects, including making art and masks for a Plo Koon appearance that was never going to actually happen.