Mark Hamill is grateful to The Mandalorian finale director Peyton Reed for the opportunity to revisit Luke Skywalker at the peak of the character's optimism. Hamill previously returned to play Luke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi's characterization of the older Luke Skywalker as jaded and disillusioned with the Jedi proved controversial with fans and wasn't what Hamill expected. Hamill has said he eventually came to this unexpected development in Luke's personality and later played a more upbeat version of the character in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which he expected to be his last time portraying the character.
With the help of digital de-aging technology and an on-set stand-in, Hamill had the chance to bring Luke at the prime of his power and hopefulness to life in the second season finale of The Mandalorian, "Chapter 16: The Rescue." After Reed took to Twitter to thank Hamill for the opportunity to direct a scene with Luke in it, Hamill responded in kind, expressing his joy at being given another shot at Luke.
I am so grateful to have been given the unexpected opportunity to revisit my character when he was still a symbol of hope & optimism.January 16, 2021
Hamill tweeted, "Dear [Peyton Reed], 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. Thank YOU."
Reed initially tweeted at Hamill, "Dear [Mark Hamill], 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."
Hamill previously expressed the happiness he felt as seeing reactions to Luke's Mandalorian appearance. "Seeing fan's reactions to Luke's return is something I will cherish forever," Hamill tweeted. "Their anticipation seeing the X-Wing/Ep. 6 Robes/a lightsaber/a GREEN lightsaber/a gloved hand/an ungloved hand/a Force choke/R2-was OVERWHELMING & very moving to me."
Series creator and executive producer Jon Favreau talked about how challenging it was to keep Luke's appearance a secret. "It was very tricky because it's very hard to keep a secret nowadays, especially with Star Wars, because people are so curious about it," said Favreau on Good Morning America. "There are so many people involved with the process, with visual effects finishing, making it, filming it, the studios, everything."