Return of the Jedi. After bringing back Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) as the bonafide badass fans always knew he was, the second season of The Mandalorian rescues another Star Wars legend in its second season finale. In "Chapter 16: The Rescue," scripted by series creator Jon Favreau and directed by Peyton Reed, the eponymous armored bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) recruits allies to rescue the kidnapped Grogu from the Imperial forces commanded by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Even after a foursome of Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) blast, punch, and kick their way through a squadron of Stormtroopers, it's the galaxy's greatest hero who saves the day in "The Rescue."
Five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, which ends with the tacit promise that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will rebuild the Jedi Order, Luke is a black-hooded and green lightsaber-swinging force to be reckoned with. Jedi Master Skywalker slices his way through an entire battalion of Gideon's droid Dark Troopers — either cut up by Skywalker's saber or crushed with a wave of his wrist — before gently urging Grogu to come with him so that he may be trained in the ways of the Force.
Vowing to give his life to protect the Child, Skywalker is joined by a chipper and beeping R2-D2 when he scoops up the cooing Grogu. "May the Force be with you," he tells Din Djarin, with the calm composure of an Obi-Wan or a Yoda. This is the Way — Luke Skywalker has returned.
Washed away is the milk-guzzling and grizzled Luke who would hide himself away in the most unfindable place in the galaxy by the time of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, where the First Order reigns and the galaxy is once again in need of heroes. This is not that Luke, the hostile hermit that was so unrecognizable to Hamill by the time of The Last Jedi that he re-named the character "Jake Skywalker."
This is Luke Skywalker, a Jedi like his father before him, the Jedi Master Skywalker that fans expected and hoped to see in the sequel trilogy spanning The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. In last year's conclusion to creator George Lucas' nine-episode saga, Luke is but a blue-hued Force ghost; he appears briefly to Rey (Daisy Ridley) for a sage word of advice on Ahch-To, the same deserted planet where he would Force-exhaust himself to death during The Last Jedi.
Whatever ruination may come by the time of the Age of Resistance, this is not that Luke. This is an extension of the Luke audiences saw in Return of the Jedi, where the hope-filled son of Skywalker redeemed his dark-sided father to become the ultimate Jedi — one who would become a Jedi Master but remain an always-learning believer and student of the Force.
Whether or not we ever see this de-aged Luke again in any of the ten Star Wars spin-offs set in a galaxy far, far away, The Mandalorian redeemed modern-day Luke in the eyes of those disappointed with the so-called Skywalker in the sequel trilogy. And it comes less than a year after Hamill said he "can't imagine" ever reprising the role after The Rise of Skywalker.
First Fett, and second Skywalker: so far, two Star Wars legends have received a sprucing up and opened new chapters within the Kathleen Kennedy-produced Disney+ series. Amid fan calls for Favreau and Star Wars guru Dave Filoni to take creative charge of more corners of the Lucasfilm franchise, there is once again a new hope in the galaxy — The Mandalorian.
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Luke Skywalker Strikes Backprevnext
Return of the Jedi
#Mandalorian This scene was enough to make a grown person cry.December 18, 2020
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Attack of the Sequels
Just watched the FINALE to #TheMandalorian Season 2 and really enjoyed it. THE Jedi Master Luke Skywalker finally gets RESPECT HE DESERVES! I'm so glad it was still Mark Hamill with some de-aging. This is what the sequels should have done. Jon Favreau is CLEARLY a Star Wars fan. pic.twitter.com/FNQgF9PcDk— Caleb (@CaIebHimself) December 18, 2020