Here's What The New Luke Skywalker Looks Like Under His Digital Mask

In the season 2 finale of "The Mandalorian," "Star Wars" fans were treated to a surprise appearance by Luke Skywalker, the powerful Jedi hero from the original trilogy, thanks to some tech wizardry. Although original actor Mark Hamill was on set and delivering lines, he wasn't actually on camera. Instead, actor Max Lloyd-Jones — who already bears a resemblance to Hamill circa "The Empire Strikes Back" — also delivered Luke's lines with motion capture dots on his face, so that a digital mask could later be used to transform him (the dialogue itself was synthesized with voice-cloning technology, and Mark Rugetti performed the stunts as Luke cut a swathe through Moff Gideon's Dark Troopers). 

When the creative team at Lucasfilm decided to bring Luke back once more for "The Book of Boba Fett," they also recast the role of on-set Luke. Though the show's credits list Mark Hamill among the main stars of the episode (since his face and voice are used), the very-end credits list Graham Hamilton as the body double for "Jedi" (this was also how Max Lloyd-Jones was credited in "The Mandalorian"), with Scott Lang as the stunt double. 

Bringing Young Luke to Life

In the wake of "The Book of Boba Fett" episode 6's release, Hamilton took to Instagram to express thanks to the showrunners for inviting him to be a part of "Star Wars history. He says that the new, young version of Luke was co-created with Hamill, which implies that the original Luke Skywalker was once again involved in bringing his younger self to life.

If you want to see Hamilton in motion (and without his Luke mask on), check out this interview in which he discusses efforts to clean up L.A. area beaches by picking up trash, as well as his love for surfing. He not only looks quite a bit like young Luke, but also sounds quite a bit like him, including the all-American surfer-guy cadence. Like Max Lloyd-Jones, Hamilton's existing resemblance to a young Mark Hamill presumably makes the process of Hamill-ifying him a bit easier. The thought of it all still makes my tech-ignorant mind melt, but the final results are truly impressive. 

While the technology is certainly stunning, it is expensive and still imperfect. Why not just hire Hamilton to play young Luke with some minor digital alteration — or better yet, cast Sebastian Stan, who already has a deal with "Star Wars" parent company Disney and currently plays Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For his part, Stan is totally game to portray young Skywalker, joking with Esquire in February 2022:

"Look, it's really kind and never say never. Mark Hamill is my father, you know, and he knows that. And I call him every Christmas to tell him, 'I just want you to know I'm around.'" 

Whether Lucasfilm casts Stan, gives Hamilton a bigger role, or hires someone completely unknown, one thing's for certain: I hope that they stop relying so heavily on technology to recreate old performances, and let some of these talented folks give us new ones. 

The finale of "The Book of Boba Fett" premieres Wednesday, February 9, 2022 on Disney+.