Spoilers for “The Mandalorian” Season 2 finale up ahead.
“The Mandalorian” Season 2, Episode 8, is currently breaking the internet with the introduction of a fan-favorite character that was dragged through the mud during the sequel trilogy: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). And through the magic of digital face replication technology and digital de-aging like what we saw in “Rogue One”, Skywalker was played by Hamill himself, with Max Llyod-Jones providing the body for the character.
Skywalker’s entrance was well done, and many are noticing how it mirrors Darth Vader’s final scene in “Rogue One.” But Luke doesn’t look good once he takes off his hood, and despite the fact that I know a lot of money and resources went into it, the tech that pulled it off frankly wasn’t worth the effort, and it was greatly unnecessary, especially considering Hamill already has a younger lookalike who is already contracted with Disney: Sebastian Stan of Marvel fame.
Hamill himself has openly acknowledged this. And Stan is an impeccable actor. I understand why Mando showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni went with Hamill — he is the original, after all, and he’s been very vocal about his displeasure with the handling of his character in the sequel films. But let’s be honest, Hamill’s time to play this iteration of Luke Skywalker has long since passed, and Disney’s digital de-aging software is costly and not convincing. It’s time for someone else to take a crack at the character.
If Disney’s live action shows are going to continue to use Luke as a recurring character, they might have no choice but to cast Stan in the role or another Luke Skywalker lookalike as there are clear limitations to their facial grafting technology (whenever Luke’s head moves, you get the uncanny valley problem people also had with Young Leia in “Rogue One”).
Again, I love and respect Mark Hamill, and wish he was given more time as Luke Skywalker in the sequel trilogy. But CGing his likeness in order to portray a younger version of a character he once played is not sustainable, and it doesn’t make sense seeing as we already have the perfect casting for young Luke in Stan.