Back in 2020, Lucasfilm chose to top off The Mandalorian's second season string of character cameos with perhaps the most shocking of them all - the return of young Luke Skywalker. The moment instantly became one of Star Wars' greatest moments ever, and at the time, it appeared to be a one-time thing. Now, on the verge of yet another Star Wars finale, it's apparent that Lucasfilm's Dave Filoni and The Book of Boba Fett had other plans.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett.
Titled Chapter 6: "From The Desert Comes a Stranger," The Book of Boba Fett's penultimate episode marked the return of Luke Skywalker. But for this second cameo, he received even more screentime.
In addition to teaching Grogu about Yoda, fans were able to see Luke train his new apprentice, paralleling how both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda trained him in the original trilogy.
However, while Mark Hamill was credited for the performance, just as he was in The Mandalorian, new faces helped bring Return of the Jedi-era Luke to life for this episode of The Book of Boba Fett.
Luke Skywalker Was Recast For The Book of Boba Fett
To achieve Luke's shocking cameo in The Mandalorian's Season 2 finale, Lucasfilm used a blend of "deep fake" and de-aging tech along with actor Max Lloyd-Jones serving as Mark Hamill's stand-in.
Despite fans being thrilled with the cameo, Lucasfilm also received criticism for the lackluster look of the digitally de-aged Jedi. As a result, Lucasfilm went on to hire deep fake artist Shamook as a Senior Facial Capture Artist after his improved version of Hamill's de-aged Luke Skywalker went viral online.
Shamook, and lessons learned from Mando's finale, are likely responsible for Luke's improved appearance in The Book of Boba Fett. That decision may be why Lucasfilm was able to use the character more this time around. However, he wasn't the only new addition.
In the credits for The Book of Boba Fett's Chapter 6, actor and voice artist Graham Hamilton was credited as the Jedi's "Performance Artist".
Even though the credits don't specifically state that he was the stand-in for Hamill's Luke, the episode's roster of characters implies that he couldn't have been the "performance artist" for anyone else.
Meanwhile, Max Lloyd-Jones - despite having appeared in the show's previous episode as a New Republic lieutenant - wasn't credited at all, implying that Lucasfilm recast the stand-in for Luke Skywalker with Hamilton replacing Lloyd-Jones.
Who Plays Luke Skywalker In Book of Boba Fett?
While Chapter 5 of The Book of Boba Fett teased Luke Skywalker's return, the original trilogy character - along with Grogu - not only dominated much of the series' latest episode but also presented the possibility that he could return again for the finale.
Still, that's not all. His interaction with Ahsoka Tano left the door open for an appearance in her upcoming solo series for Disney+ as well, and some fans are now questioning whether a Luke Skywalker series may be on the horizon.
While the recasting of Luke Skywalker's stand-in was due to Lucasfilm's future plans for the character or motivated by Shamook and ILM is unknown, there's no mistaking the similarities between Hamilton and young Mark Hamill.
Still, it's possible that fans may find out why Hamilton was cast in place of Lloyd-Jones, particularly if there are plans for a Disney Gallery episode for The Book of Boba Fett, just as there was for Season 2 of The Mandalorian.
Lastly, the fact that Star Wars has become so adept with this cutting-edge tech is fitting for a franchise that once led the charge in terms of innovative movie magic. The question now is whether this new and improved look for Luke lends credence to rumors that Harrison Ford is also returning as Han Solo? With only one episode left in Season 1 of The Book of Boba Fett, fans won't have to wait long to find out.
New episodes of The Book of Boba Fett debut on Wednesdays on Disney+.