Mark Hamill‘s 2020 ended on a high note — and contain his glee, he will not.
Two weeks after The Mandalorian resurrected Luke Skywalker in what was arguably the year’s coolest cameo, the Star Wars icon took to social media on Wednesday to express his gratitude to exec producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.
“Sometimes the greatest gifts are the most unexpected and something you never realized you wanted until it was given,” Hamill tweeted, before adding, “#ThankYouJonAndDave
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 30, 2020
In the final moments of The Mandalorian‘s Season 2 finale (read recap here) — just when it looked the the good guys who had infiltrated Moff Gideon’s light cruiser, felled scores of strormtroopers and rescued Grogu would get unceremoniously mowed down by a platoon of Dark Troopers — a lone X-Wing appeared outside. Its robed pilot boarded the cruiser, then proceeded to slice and dice Dark Trooper after Dark Trooper, using a green lightsaber wielded by a gloved hand. When this Jedi arrived at the bridge where Mando, the Child and others were hunkered down, he lifted back his hood to reveal the face of a circa-Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker/Hamill.
As Favreau recently revealed, Hamill himself was on set for the memorable moment (even though another actor, Max Lloyd-Jones, served as Luke’s body double). “To have Mark Hamill on set filming and us using whatever technology we had available to de-age him and make him look like he did in the old films” — and kept secret — was very special, Favreau said.
On the day of the episode’s release, Hamill playfully trolled fans, asking, “Seen anything good on TV lately?” He later marveled, “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. A real triumph for spoiler-haters everywhere!”