The Star Wars fandom was ignited with speculation during the second season of The Mandalorian as the arrival of a mysterious Jedi coming to collect Grogu was teased. Social media was coated in a wide range of fan theories from outlandish picks like Mace Windu and Cal Kestis, to safer names like Ezra Bridger or Ahsoka Tano.
After weeks of anticipation, the cliffhanger finale moment left fans with the return of the franchise's original lead, Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker, de-aged to resemble his younger self. Disney's tight security around the production clearly paid off as it managed to avoid the shocking moment leaking to the public prior to the airing of the episode.
While some would imagine this to be a stroke of pure luck, it seems there was a lot more to it than that. A member of the series' cast has revealed the intense secrecy around the moment.
WAIT, SO IT'S NOT PLO KOON?
In an appearance on Star Wars Explained's recent gaming stream that was shared by Star Wars News Net, The Mandalorian's Bo-Katan actress Katee Sackhoff discussed her recent role on the Disney+ series.
While discussing the weird and wonderful world of Star Wars, the subject of Clone Wars-era Jedi Plo Koon came up, following which Sackhoff revealed “That's who [they] were told [the finale's surprise Jedi cameo] was”:
“Do you know that's who we thought it [the surprise cameo] was at the end? That's who we were told it was, and I am a very gullible person”
WHAT IF IT WASN'T LUKE SKYWALKER?
As Luke Skywalker never appeared alongside any other characters during his brief cameo, it makes sense why none of the cast needed to know he would be showing up. The number of people aware of the surprise was naturally kept to a minimum to reduce the risk of spoilers, and clearly, it worked out for the team.
After speculating as to who this surprise Jedi cameo would be for weeks, the long-awaited moment paid off in grand fashion with the return of a fan-favorite character. But who else could have arrived to save the day and take Grogu if Skywalker had missed the call?
Firstly, it's unlikely it could have been Plo Koon, despite what the cast may have been told. The Jedi was killed on-screen in Revenge of the Sith during Order 66 meaning he couldn't have shown up almost thirty years later, making this an odd character to tease the cast with.
In terms of realistic possibilities, very few Jedi knights were active in the post-Return of the Jedi time period, as Luke Skywalker was yet to begin his academy. Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano are the only other Jedi known to be active at this point in the timeline, meaning short of a surprise character resurrection, Luke was the obvious choice.
Additionally, based on the timing of The Mandalorian's events, it's extremely possible Grogu was the first member of Luke's Jedi academy that would one day be destroyed by a young Ben Solo. This era of the original trilogy lead's life is one that hasn't yet been explored in canon and could make for an exciting Disney+ series.
However, using CGI to de-age Mark Hamill into his younger self for a whole series would be inefficient and costly. Many fans have often suggested that Marvel's Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan bears an uncanny resemblance to the actor in his youthful years. Stan's obvious acting resume and perfect looks for the part would make him the ideal star for more adventures with Luke Skywalker.
The Mandalorian is set to return for its third season in 2022, following the release of The Book of Boba Fett this December.