Here’s How They Kept “The Mandalorian” Finale’s Epic Surprise a Secret
If you haven’t finished watching The Mandalorian‘s sophomore season, you need to stop reading as a massive spoiler lies ahead.
Okay, so we all watched that epic surprise cameo in The Mandalorian finale. If you’re anything like us, you had two simultaneous reactions—delighted surprise mixed together with shame at having not seen it coming the whole time. And that feeling, folks, is what makes a great twist—surprise plus a sense of inevitability. It’s why the great twist endings, like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, force you to go back over what you just watched and spot all the clues that were hiding in plain sight. Of course Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time, the kid says I see dead people! And no one talks to Willis but the kid the whole time! Etcetera.
For The Mandalorian, we’ve known all season that our titular bounty hunter was on a mission to reunite The Child with “his people,” the Jedi. We knew that the series is set after The Return of the Jedi. We knew that the Jedi of that time period was, of course, Luke Skywalker. And yet…it was still a shock when Mando and his allies, trapped on Moff Gideon’s ship and soon to be overwhelmed by Dark Troopers, watched in awe as a shadowy figure with a lightsaber cut through them like so much Velveeta cheese. The realization that this shadowy figure was Luke Skywalker was so satisfying because it made perfect sense. We’d already seen the Mandalorian take The Child to the Tython Seeing Stone to communicate with the Jedi. We knew there was a likelihood some Jedi heard the call. And yet, for most of us (yes, some viewers called it), it was a surprise that the Jedi to heed the call was Luke.
So the question is, how did The Mandalorian‘s brain trust keep the Luke cameo a secret? Thanks to /film, which found this interview that one of the series’ stars, Gina Carano, gave to Drunk 3p0, we now have the answer—they left the Luke bit out of the script completely.
“I started finding out about it in the makeup trailer, basically because you’re like, ‘Oh wait, who’s that?’ And because they didn’t say it in the script…everyone that has worked on The Mandalorian is insane, like insane Star Wars fans. And they have the shirts, and they’re like, ‘Wait a second.’ And so, everybody starts doing a little whispering.”
Luke was represented by a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill. It was the moment that finally, directly linked the series to the larger Star Wars saga. This reveal was, therefore, hugely important to keep secret, especially considering how much of The Mandalorian‘s other secrets were leaked this year, like the casting of Timothy Olyphant. Turns out, the best way to keep a secret hasn’t changed much in a few millennia—don’t tell anybody in the first place.
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Featured image: The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in The Mandalorian, season two. Courtesy Lucasfilm.