It's the return of the Jedi in a behind-the-scenes look at Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker on the set of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett. Hamill played the legendary Jedi Master in six episodes of the Star Wars saga and made a cameo in a Season 2 episode of The Mandalorian, returning to a galaxy far, far away in the Boba Fett spinoff from Robert Rodriguez. The Disney+ making-of documentary special Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett, now streaming in parts of the world celebrating Star Wars Day on May the Fourth, reveals new looks at Hamill's on-set performance with Jedi padawan Grogu. See them below.
In The Book of Boba Fett episode "Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger," Hamill and actor Graham Hamilton portray the digitally de-aged Luke Skywalker, rebuilding the New Jedi Order five years post-Return of the Jedi. He is the teacher of Grogu, the foundling training in the ways of the Force under the watchful eye of Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson).
Mark Hamill and Rosario Dawson on the set of THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT pic.twitter.com/TLqwJWPliX— Star Wars Stuff (@starwarstuff2) May 3, 2022
"It's a process that's new to both of us, so we're just trying to give the filmmakers everything they need," Hamill says in Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett. "I've done all aspects — theater, radio, television, movies — each one of them has its specific requirements. But this is a completely new aspect. With this, it's a composite performance. Not just from the stunt double, but input from the director and what's on the page, all of these elements coming together, so that it's an ongoing learning experience."
Said writer-director-executive producer Dave Filoni of Hamill's on-set performance, "The key is having Mark there, because you get how much it means to him, this character. You understand that as you see him there and just the look in his eye when he would watch Graham performing, this sense of pride, I think, that he had in watching that committed performance and that he was a part of it."
Celebrate #MayThe4th Eve by soaking in these shots of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the set of The Book of Boba Fett. These images appear in the upcoming one hour Disney Gallery episode which premieres tomorrow on Disney+ pic.twitter.com/R9KL2Yb3GI— CollectorsCantina (@CollectCantina) May 4, 2022
After state-of-the-art digital techniques shaved decades off the 70-year-old Hamill in his Mandalorian cameo (with double Max Lloyd-Jones standing in), Lucasfilm utilized CGI and deepfake technology to digitally recreate the younger Luke Skywalker with a "fusion" of Hamill and Hamilton's performances.
"We would do takes with Mark, and then we would do takes with Graham," explained Boba Fett director of photography David Klein. "It was always one camera, because we had what's called a flux rig on our camera, which is basically two small [infrared] cameras on either side of our taking lens… and Graham has infrared invisible dots on his face. Some visible, some invisible. And it works really well. But ownership of that character belongs to Mark."
Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett is streaming May 4 on Disney+.