Star Wars icon Mark Hamill is back in black — and back on set — as the legendary Luke Skywalker in a new look at the upcoming Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of the Season 2 Finale. The previously announced special, premiering August 25 on Disney+, offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Chapter 16: The Rescue," revealing how Lucasfilm artists digitally de-aged and recreated a younger Luke in the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. Set five years after 1983's Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, the episode marks Hamill's surprise reprisal of the role he last returned to in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.
In the latest "Next On Disney+" trailer for August 2021, get a look at an unhooded Hamill holding Grogu — a.k.a. Baby Yoda — when Luke and droid sidekick R2-D2 come to collect the Force-powerful padawan from bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal).
"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," Mandalorian series creator Jon Favreau previously told Good Morning America about Hamill's top-secret cameo, made possible with the help of body double Max Lloyd Jones. "There are so many people involved with the process, with visual effects finishing, making it, filming it, the studios, everything."
Because "every piece of casting leaked" ahead of Season 2 — including Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett and Katee Sackhoff as a live-action Bo-Katan Kryze for the first time — "We were so scared right up until ['Chapter 16'] aired that our surprise cameo was going to leak too," Favreau said.
"The fact that we were able to keep my involvement a secret for over a year with no leaks is nothing less than a miracle," Hamill tweeted in December, calling the season's best-kept secret "a real triumph for spoiler-haters everywhere."
Disney describes the special episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian as "a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this celebrated 'chapter' of The Mandalorian, with a focus on the technology used for recreating Luke Skywalker. It delves into the collaborative process, including working with Mark Hamill, to create an authentic and fitting recreation, and explores the immense pressure and responsibility the filmmakers had in bringing back one of the most important characters in film history."
Season 3 of The Mandalorian is expected to begin production soon for a 2022 debut, following spin-off The Book of Boba Fett coming later this year on Disney+.
All episodes of The Mandalorian are now streaming on Disney+. Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of the Season 2 Finale premieres August 25. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here. Note: If you purchase one of the awesome, independently chosen products featured here, we may earn a small commission from the retailer. Thank you for your support.