Mark Hamill Thanks The Mandalorian Finale Director for His Role in Revisiting Luke as 'A Symbol of Hope'

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It was a mutual admiration society on Twitter as Peyton Reed, who directed The Mandalorian‘s Season 2 finale, and Star Wars icon Mark Hamill reflected fondly on their collaboration which got the pop culture watercooler a-bubbling on Dec. 18.

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-n-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.

Reed, whose previous directing credits include the Ant-Man films, tweeted out a production still of a young Hamill on the New Hope set with Luke’s landspeeder. “When I was a kid, this photo hung on my bedroom wall. STAR WARS, and Luke Skywalker in particular, meant a great deal to me. Some things never change,” he wrote to Hamill on Friday afternoon. “It was an honor and a dream come true to work with you on @TheMandalorian. Thank you. #MTFBWY.”

Hamill replied back on Saturday, telling Reed, “I am so grateful to have been given the unexpected opportunity to revisit my character when he was still a symbol of hope & optimism. Your assured direction & kindness was a crucial element in the experience & means more to me than I can say. #ThankYOU.”

Hamill of course reprised his role as the original Star Wars trilogy’s Luke Skywalker in the third and final trio of films, though that timeline found Luke as a grizzled, brooding Jedi master who was reluctant to train wannabe Rey.

Hamill had previously directed his gratitude to Mandalorian exec producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, tweeting at year’s end, “Sometimes the greatest gifts are the most unexpected and something you never realized you wanted until it was given. #ThankYouJonAndDave.”

As Favreau revealed shortly after the season finale, Hamill was on set for the memorable sequence (though another actor, Max Lloyd-Jones, was credited 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.

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