Thus far, The Mandalorian has been playing at the edges of the main Star Wars stories that most people are familiar with. The series is set shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi and takes place in a part of the galaxy where characters like Han, Leia, and Chewie don't seem to be exerting much influence. In the finale of its second season, though, The Mandalorian brought back Luke Skywalker, a character that most fans know well.
What happened in the Season 2 finale of 'The Mandalorian'?
As fans of the show might recall, Grogu spent a good chunk of the season's sixth episode meditating on a rock. The meditation was designed to reach out to other Jedi through the force, so most avid fans expected that a Jedi would show up to help Grogu at some point.
In the finale, Din Djarin and his team of rogues attempt to rescue Grogu from Moff Gideon, but the mission doesn't go exactly as planned.
Instead, the team finds themselves pinned down on the bridge of Moff Gideon's ship, and they're surrounded by a platoon of Dark Troopers that are much harder to beat than a normal Stormtrooper. The situation seems completely dire until we see an X-Wing show up to save the day. A hooded figure dressed in black steps out of the ship and quickly dispatches with the Dark Troopers. Then, he's revealed to be none other than Luke Skywalker.
Who played Luke Skywalker in 'The Mandalorian'?
As has been the case throughout Star Wars, the Luke that we see in The Mandalorian has Mark Hamill's face, but he looks like Hamill did around the time of Return of the Jedi. Thanks to technology, Mark's younger face has been placed on another person's body.
Max Lloyd Jones was apparently that body, as he's listed in the credits as "Double for Jedi."
Max is best known for his work in shows like Switched at Birth and When Calls the Heart, but he's also done motion capture work before in the Planet of the Apes films. The technique the show deployed to create a younger Luke was also deployed in Rogue One to de-age Carrie Fisher and reanimate Peter Cushing, whose character Grand Moff Tarkin was in the film even though Peter has died in real life.
What does Luke's appearance mean for 'The Mandalorian'?
Luke's arrival at the climax of Season 2 suggests that The Mandalorian may now become more closely connected to the overall Star Wars canon. Because the show takes place after Return of the Jedi, we know that Luke is currently trying to restart the Jedi Order, and we also know that Kylo Ren will eventually destroy that order and kill all of Luke's other apprentices.
Those events are still roughly 10 years in the future, though, which means that Grogu is not in any immediate danger of dying at the hands of Kylo Ren. Luke may have some role in his training, but it seems the story of Baby Yoda is still far from over.