Seldomly do we ever get our chance to meet our heroes let alone work with them, which is what happened between Ant-Man franchise director Peyton Reed and Star Wars actor Mark Hamill. Fans got to see the triumphant return of Hamill's Luke Skywalker in all his Jedi glory on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian in its season two finale. The opportunity was supposed to come during the sequels in 2017's The Last Jedi, but no sabers clashed between the teacher and his former student Kylo Ren at the climactic battle.
Since The Mandalorian took place not long after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983), the stars aligned for the Jedi to return in his X-Wing during the climactic finale that revealed Grogu's master who saved the day. Rather than opting for practical effects and heavy makeup, the series opted to use de-aging CG with Hamill providing the voice of his younger self in the episode "The Rescue." Reed directed the epic episode and tweeted to Hamill about how much an inspiration he was growing up following with a shot of the actor on his landspeeder taken at the time of A New Hope (1977).
"Dear @HamillHimself," Reed began. "When I was a kid, this photo hung on my bedroom wall. STAR WARS, and Luke Skywalker in particular, meant a great deal to me. Some things never change. It was an honor and a dream come true to work with you on @themandalorian. Thank you. #MTFBWY" Hamill responded the following day. "Dear @MrPeytonReed, I am so grateful to have been given the unexpected opportunity to revisit my character when he was still a symbol of hope & optimism. Your assured direction & kindness was a crucial element in the experience & means more to me than I can say. #ThankYOU" The actor also showed similar appreciation to The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau and co-executive producer Dave Filoni for the chance to relive his character once more. He also responded to co-star Ming-Na Wen, who plays bounty hunter Fennec Shand. Both seasons of The Mandalorian are available to stream on Disney+.
I am so grateful to have been given the unexpected opportunity to revisit my character when he was still a symbol of hope & optimism.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 16, 2021