The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian left many people in shock and awe. After all, Luke Skywalker showed up to defeat the Dark Troopers and take Grogu with him so that he could complete his Jedi training at his newly built academy.
Thanks to digital de-aging technology and a talented stuntman, Mark Hamill was able to reprise his iconic role again. His appearance has surely left the door open for more in the future. After all, him taking Grogu with him means that we will possibly see more of him in the future.
A poster was even released with him and Grogu building a lightsaber at The Mandalorian panel in comic-con@home. This seems to lend credence to the fan theories which say that we might get to see Luke Skywalker training Grogu.
If there were any more doubts, then Lucasfilm hiring a digital artist who is known for fixing digital de-aging issues could put that to rest. Now, there’s no certainty that we will get to see Luke Skywalker again without official confirmation.
But all signs are pointing to the fact that we could get to see the original Star Wars protagonist again in season 3 of The Mandalorian. If you are asking how these above points mean that Luke is coming back, then let us expand on it while also providing new evidence on the matter.
The Mandalorian is set in 9 ABY. Season 2 of the show ends with Moff Gideon getting captured and Grogu leaving Din Djarin to train as a Jedi in Luke’s newly rebuilt Jedi Academy. Luke’s characterization in the sequel trilogy was divisive among fans, but his appearance in season 2 of The Mandalorian pleased fans.
Fans loved the action sequence and Luke’s chat with other heroes. Like the Legends continuity and original trilogy, Luke is shown here as noble and altruistic. But he is also human and relatable.
Luke’s cameo was in The Mandalorian episode titled “Chapter 16: The Rescue.” It premiered on Disney+ on December 18th, 2020. Just three days later, a Youtuber called “Shamook” uploaded a video with his version of Luke’s dialogue scene. This deepfake included the version that aired for comparison.
Fans found that this YouTuber did a better job at the digital de-aging and made Mark Hamill really look like he had straight out of the 1983 movie Return of the Jedi. The video went viral, and Industrial Light and Magic hired this YouTuber Shamook.
His hiring does indicate that Lucasfilm might use him to de-age Mark Hamill in a future episode, especially since he went viral for that particular deepfake.
Grogu, or as the fans call him- Baby Yoda, is a popular Mandalorian character. Under Din Djarin’s guardianship, the Force-sensitive child provided much of the pathos and comedy the show is known for.
But now, Grogu is with Luke Skywalker to complete his training. However, it’s still difficult to think about another season of The Mandalorian without one of its central protagonists.
Not to mention the fact that fans love Grogu. So if he isn’t in season 3, then will it affect the marketability of the show? Due to these reasons, it’s likely that we will see Grogu return in season 3 of the show. Now, if he does return, then chances are that we will get to see Luke again.
After all, right now, Luke is the only guardian Grogu has. And since he is so small so he needs to be accompanied by someone else. And that someone is going to be Luke obviously.
During the 2020 Disney’s Investor Day presentation, a crossover event was announced. This event was going to link all the Disney+ shows set in the post-original trilogy timeline together. The Mandalorian season 2 gave an important hint towards this event in its “Chapter 13: The Jedi.”
In this episode, we got to see Ahsoka Tano. She was tracking Grand Admiral Thrawn. Now, The Mandalorian as well as three of its upcoming spin-offs all take place in the year 9 ABY. In the Legends continuity, this is the year when the well-known Thrawn trilogy happened.
As such, it’s possible that the 4 show crisis event might be the Disney canon continuity’s iteration of Legends’ Thrawn campaign. Now, this could be big enough to warrant Luke Skywalker’s attention.
Digital de-aging isn’t a well-known technical effect till now. It’s still pretty new and has been used only sometimes in the MCU and the two recent Star Wars movies.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story used digital de-aging to recreate late Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing. However, it must be said that the reception to this was pretty mixed.
Apart from this, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker replicated Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill based on their 1983 version of Leia and Luke. Results were slightly better than those of Rogue One.
However, suffice to say that they could be better. As such, it’s understandable that ILM will want to continuously improve their digital effects, and hiring Shamook is a step in that direction.
So if Mark Hamill does return as Luke Skywalker in season 3 of The Mandalorian, then the digital de-aging will be done perfectly, and it won’t look jarring. And as said before, hiring Shamook, who is known for his Luke Skywalker deepfake video, seems to be enough of a hint in this direction.