As 2020 draws to a close, there are some things to be thankful for in this mostly forsaken year. One of which is arguably the highest moment of Star Wars seeing the triumphant return of Luke Skywalker to the franchise on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Of course, it's not the saltier 30-years later version we all saw in 2015 with The Force Awakens, but the one not far removed from Return of the Jedi (1983) that's much younger thanks to the use of de-aging CGI. Sure it's unrealistic that star Mark Hamill sounds like his 1983 self and who wouldn't commend him for playing the character again even if it's just his voice? The long-time face of the original trilogy took to Twitter on December 30 to thank creator Jon Favreau and co-executive producer Dave Filoni for the opportunity.
"Sometimes the greatest gifts are the most unexpected and something you never realized you wanted until it was given. #ThankYouJonAndDave," Hamill wrote. The tweet added a still of the hooded Luke clad in the black he donned in the Richard Marquand film that saw the end of Darth Vader and for a while, The Emperor. The closing scenes of the season two finale of The Mandalorian saw the legendary Jedi pilot his X-Wing into Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) light cruiser and cut his way through his super-powered dark troopers to save the day. After revealing himself to Din (Pedro Pascal), he informs him and his entourage that he's Grogu's master and he needs to help complete his training.
With no Grogu/Luke spinoff on the horizon, this is perhaps Hamill's final swan song to the character as fans initially thought was to be following the events of The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. Whether if there's further interest in another Luke-centric story remains to be seen and goodness knows Lucasfilm and Disney haven't already seen their share of guff with their use of CG in place of recasting. There were already such uses with the de-aging of Carrie Fisher and the digital resurrection of Peter Cushing in Rogue One (2016). Obviously, that wasn't always the case with 2018's Solo with casting Alden Ehrenreich as the younger Han Solo and forgoing putting Harrison Ford into a recording booth. Will this be the last we see of CG-de-aged actors within the Star Wars universe? The Mandalorian is available to stream on Disney+.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 30, 2020