This week, Disney+ released a new special episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, which is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Mandalorian’s season 2 finale.
There, Mark Hamill, producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, director Peyton Reed and others talk about their experiences making the episode. And to celebrate the release of this new special, Peyton Reed shared a photo on Twitter thanking Hamill for “an unforgettable experience.”
The photo included in the tweet is one with Mark Hamill wearing Luke Skywalker’s robes while holding Grogu (aka, Baby Yoda), but they’re not on the set of The Mandalorian.
At first glance, it might look like Hamill and Grogu might even be Photoshopped onto the background. But no, it’s all real, and there’s a bigger story to tell behind the photo.
Why Mark Hamill joined The Mandalorian
Initially, The Mandalorian team was nervous about pitching the idea of Mark Hamill returning as Luke Skywalker. As revealed in Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Hamill was initially invited to the studio to see The Mandalorian in order to get his “opinion” on the show. And he even recorded a line for a cantina droid and got to see the very first episode (and the big reveal about Grogu).
But that wasn’t all the team wanted from him. Eventually, the team said that they wanted him to return to play the character. And it wasn’t something Hamill instantly accepted. Hamill revealed in the episode:
"When they said they used the de-aging process that they used in the Marvel movies, I was just gobsmacked! I didn’t answer right away. I had to think about it. But the more I thought about it, I thought, “This is really an opportunity that was completely unexpected, but something that almost was a responsibility.” In other words, if they’re saying they want me to do this, how can I say no?"
And so, one day in December 2019, Peyton Reed and Jon Favreau paid a visit to Mark Hamill’s house with the script, Luke’s robes and a Grogu doll in tow. And (to Reed and Favreau’s relief), Hamill was thrilled with the script.
That’s where Reed’s photo of Hamill comes in. Footage from that day shows that Hamill played around with the idea of returning as Luke by practicing a scene in his own yard at home. There, he was introduced to Grogu as his scene partner for the very first time. And of course, the rest is history.
Later, Hamill and Grogu moved from his home to his set to seriously begin production on the series finale. And, if we’re lucky, this means more of the two will be in store for season 3 when it premieres next year.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+.