'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Finale's Biggest Moment Wasn't In The Script

The Mandalorian season 2 finale dropped a humdinger on fans with the appearance of a familiar (digitally de-aged) character, whose face sent everyone into a spiral of nostalgia. But how did Lucasfilm and Disney+ pull off that reveal without it leaking before the episode aired? By not including it in the script at all, to the point that cast and crew weren't even aware of the surprise cameo.

Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2 follow.

In a recent interview with Drunk 3PO, Gina Carano, who plays Cara Dune, revealed that she and the rest of the crew found out about the inclusion of Luke Skywalker in the final episode of season 2 on the day they were filming:

"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."

In the episode, a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill reprises his role as Luke Skywalker. At the end of the episode, as Mando and his group of allies appear to be backed in a corner on Moff Gideon's ship, a hooded figure arrives aboard an X-wing, and cuts through the Dark Troopers with a green lightsaber. The figure takes down his hood to reveal that he's Luke Skywalker (in shaky de-aging technology that has earned the episode some criticism once fans got over their nostalgic euphoria), and reveals that he's there to take Grogu. Grogu asks Din's permission to go train with Luke and Din grants it after taking his mask off for a tearful goodbye.

It's a huge moment — arguably the biggest in The Mandalorian's run — and this top-secret approach explains how Disney+ and Lucasfilm managed to keep the reveal under wraps. This kind of approach, of multiple scripts or scripts missing key parts, is a common tactic with big projects like Marvel superhero films, which famously employ the multiple scripts technique to the point that even the cast members aren't sure of what movie they're filming or whether their character will actually survive. The Mandalorian season 2 was probably one of the most-leaked TV seasons in recent memory, and it's no surprise that Lucasfilm wanted to keep a tight lid on the Luke reveal.